For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Sgt. Mary Kusmiss S-6, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-5780
BPD RESPONDS TO RECENT ROBBERIES
Berkeley, California (Friday, December 10, 2010) - The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) has identified what Detectives believe is a series of robberies of pedestrians in North Berkeley. In each incident, the male suspect points a handgun at a community member and demands phones, wallets and other small personal items before fleeing on foot. Victims have described the suspect generally as a “black male, late teens to 30 years old with a thin build.”
The following is a list of robberies in North Berkeley that are believed to be connected-
11/13 - 7:20 p.m. Virginia and Franklin Streets
11/18 – 11:28 a.m Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Hearst Street
11/21 - 2:55 p.m. Hearst and California Streets
12/02 - 6:55 p.m. Lincoln and California Streets
12/06 - 7:25 p.m. California and Virginia Streets
Once BPD identified a potential series in late November, BPD immediately developed patrol and awareness strategies with an eye towards arresting the suspect and possibly detering future robberies.
Some of the strategies that have been underway are:
Employing additional personnel to focus on this series as well as other robberies within the city. These teams use both visible and “behind the scenes” approaches in their response. Continued crime analysis and internal communication regarding the robberies. Communication and collaboration with neighboring agencies such as Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Department, University of California Police Department (UCPD) and City of Albany Police Department. (APD) This includes providing updates and requests for increased patrol. Ongoing communication to increase awareness within the community.
BPD would like to thank the community for their interest and participation in solving this series. Community members are encouraged to call BPD to report suspicious cars and/or individuals and offer as much detail as possible when doing so.
BPD is also reminding community members to employ some simple crime prevention measures such as walking with another in the evenings and not talking on cell phones or listening to devices such as MP3 players and iPods as they limit awareness.
If anyone has any information regarding these crimes, please call the BPD Non-Emergency Dispatch Line at (510) 981-5900. For crimes in progress or crimes that have just happened, please call 911 or (510) 981-5911 from your cell phone.