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June 26th, 2012 
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In This Issue
1) Vehicle Crime Trends
2) Berkeley Summer Fun!
3) Berkeley 4th of July Celebrations
4) National Night Out 2012
Dear Neighbor,

Our police department wanted to let residents know about some vehicle crime trends so that you know what to do and what not to do to prevent these types of crimes.  I've also included some information about some great summer activities, a couple of 4th of July events and National Night Out. 

Berkeley Police Department Bulletin: Vehicle Crime Trends



Over time, the City of Berkeley Police Department has noticed a pattern of theft of catalytic converters throughout the city-much like other parts of country.  A catalytic converter is a piece of the vehicle's exhaust system (made of precious metals) that converts toxic emissions to less toxic substances.  Because of the rising values of precious metals over time, catalytic converter thefts (as well as the theft of other items containing precious metals-such as brass railings, auto gates, etc.) have become a cost-effective means for suspects to turn a quick buck.  From what I understand, a person who steals a catalytic converter can get up to $200 per device.


The typical Modus Operandi of the catalytic converter suspect in the City of Berkeley is a suspect operating during the nighttime hours-taking advantage of shadows and darkness of the night.  The suspect will most likely be equipped with a reciprocating saw (aka: saber saw, sawzall) and some form of bag or backpack to carry the saw and stolen catalytic converters.  Catalytic converter theft suspects may be walking on foot, riding a bicycle, or driving a vehicle.  When the suspect identifies a vehicle to steal the catalytic converter from, the suspect lies down underneath the rear of the vehicle at the tail pipe.  The suspect then utilizes their reciprocating saw to simply cut the catalytic converter from the tail pipe.  According to, a suspect can steal your catalytic converter in under two minutes.  The most commonly hit vehicles are SUVs and trucks, especially late-model Toyotas, because they sit higher off the ground-making for easier access.




Much like catalytic converter theft suspects, smash & grab auto burglary suspects also operate during darkness.  Instead of taking the time to actually break a window, open the door, and get into a vehicle, these snatch & grab auto burglary suspects will simply break a window, reach inside the vehicle, and take whatever is visible within arm's reach.  One might think that the breaking of a window would cause lots of noise for persons in the area to notice, but these snatch & grab auto burglary suspects are much more clever than that.  Suspects today are resorting to using tricks to muffle the noise-like putting a towel against the window or using spark plugs to break the window (there is a type of reaction between the materials found in spark plugs and the vehicle windows-causing the window to break).  Because of methods like these, auto burglary suspects can burglarize your vehicle in moments.  To combat this, make sure you do not leave any valuables visible in your vehicle.




Over time, the County of Alameda has noticed a county-wide increase of auto thefts.  According to the Alameda County Regional Auto Theft Task Force (, late 80's model Honda Accords, Honda Civics, and Toyota Camrys top the list of most stolen vehicles.


In addition to making sure your possessions are secured, parking in well-lit areas, and using anti-theft devices (steering wheel locks, etc.) one of the best methods for preventing crimes such as these, is to promptly report suspicious activity to the police department.




* When someone is paying an unusual amount of attention to the people or places around himself/herself. The persons may be preparing to commit a criminal act when no one is watching.
* Someone lingering in dark or obscured areas. Criminals want to be unseen and anonymous .
* When someone flees or runs away from a car or home when they notice you are watching or have seen them.
* Someone going door-to-door in the neighborhood or wandering with no purpose. Anyone can walk on our streets, but looking into cars, home windows, or down a driveway is known as "casing."
* Someone wandering or loitering in the halls of a business complex or office complex and you do not recognize the person, or they do not appear to have legitimate business-know your neighbors and neighboring businesses/employees.
* Slow moving cars, cars driving without headlights, or someone conducting business from a car.
* Persons walking or bicycling down the street carrying property or household items in an awkward manner.
* When someone screams and you cannot determine why the person is screaming.
* You see someone removing property or materials from a closed business or at unusual hours.
* A stranger entering a neighbor's home or business when your neighbor appears away from home or work.
* If you hear unusual noises that you cannot explain-like breaking glass or pounding noises.




The police need accurate information as quickly as possible about suspicious activity or crimes in progress. Call the police immediately. If a criminal activity has occurred, the police can only catch the criminal when we are notified in a timely manner.
In Berkeley, dial 911 or 981-5911 from your cell for emergencies and/or crimes in progress. Dial 981-5900 to make a delayed or after the fact report. Reports can be made anonymously if you wish. Give the dispatcher as much information as you can, including the following:

* Briefly describe what you saw and why you think the event is suspicious.
* Location where you saw the event (address, building description, direction they were going, etc.)
* Describe the person(s) involved from top to bottom (sex, race, height, weight, age, hair, clothing, etc.)
* Describe any cars involved or if you heard a car, including the license plate number. 









Berkeley Summer Fun!

Berkeley's Summer Activity Guide 

We are in the thick of summer, but Berkeley still has a ton of great activities for you and/or the kids, camps, drop-in activities, playground programs and much more.  Make sure to check out the Summer Activity Guide for the full list.

Berkeley's Summer Lunch Program
While the kids are out of school for the summer, the City is providing free lunches for Berkeley youth.  Even if you don't have kids or your kids have a great meal waiting for them at home, please share with friends and neighbors.


Summer Lunch Program begins June 18, 2012


Children who are 18 yrs and younger are invited to eat free in Berkeley from June 18 to August 24 2012.  Since school meals are not available during summer vacation, the City of Berkeley, in collaboration with the State of California Department of Education, will offer free summer lunches and snacks at sites across the city. children can rely on the summer foods program to provide nutritious food that will assist them to grow to their full potential and Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department staff members supervise the seven sites.


All of the City of Berkeley Summer Food Sites offer recreational activities, youth simply show up at the site during the time meals are being served and enjoy good company and delicious meal.


                                                      June 18 - August 24
                                                  Lunch served between 11am-1pm
                                                  Snack served between 3pm-4pm
  • James Kenney Community Center - 1720 8th Street
  • MLK Jr Youth Center - 1730 Oregon Street
  • Frances Albrier Community Center - 2800 Park Street
  • Harrison Street Skate Park - 5th and Harrison Street
  • Black Repertory Theater Group - 3210 Adeline Street
  • Malcolm X Elementary School - 1731 Prince Street
  • Berkeley Youth Alternatives/Strawberry Creek Park - 1255 Allston Way


Residents with questions can contact Ms. Ginsi Bryant at (510) 981-6652



Berkeley July 4th Celebrations
July 4th is upon us and there are a couple of fantastic celebrations in West Berkeley. 


Curtis-Chaucer 4th of July Block Party
The Curtis-Chaucer neighborhood group throws a grand bash every 4th of July and invites anyone that would like to participate.  They put it on at Chaucer Street (between San Pablo and Curtis, down at the San Pablo end) from 2pm to 4pm on Wendesday July 4th.  Folks can bring a potluck side dish to share and should bring their own choice of meat or veggies to grill. Activities will include a home-produced veggies/food exchange, a white elephant table, and live Scottish Fiddle music.  For more information, contact Lisa Duncan at
4th of July @ Berkeley Marina
4th of July is also when the City throws its own celebration down at the Berkeley Marina & Cesar Chavez Park.  This year's celebration will be from noon-10PM with all kinds of free fun! Adventure Playground, always a favorite, is open 11am-8pm. Get your face painted, try the giant slide, or splash in the water at the beach!

There's live entertainment from noon until 9:30PM on the main stage including Bautista, a samba rock fusion band; the Allman Step Brothers Band; a special celebration of Louis Armstrong's birthday by Mal Sharpe's Big Money in Jazz Band; Professor Gizmo's One-man Band; Troupe Tangiers and Sharifa's Habibis belly dancers. Stage art by


On The Buddy Club Stage in Shorebird Park you'll find world-renowned juggling with The Keith Show; award-winning magician Timothy James; prop comic and comedy juggler Fred Anderson; Unique Derique; and a martial arts demonstration by Kuk Sool Won Academy. Tucked around the marina are Afro Cuban Rumba Drummers, InSteel Caribbean Pan Drums, Circus Arts by Coventry & Kaluza; Juggling by Dana Smith, and more.  


Cesar Chavez Park on the north side of the marina holds a day of physical fun with clear Zorbing balls that you step inside of to roll down the hill; a Slackline Stunt Show by artists who were in the Superbowl Half-time Show; a climbing wall, bungee run, jousting, a bungee trampoline, and lots more. More food booths and a preview of the Giant Show Kites from the Berkeley Kite Festival at the end of the month make it a super fun area.


There's art & crafts, yummy food, free dragon boat rowing from 2-6pm, pony rides, giant slides and much more including the grand fireworks over the water from the end of the Berkeley Pier at 9:30pm.

Enjoy the entire event and get your 4th of July PASSPORT TO FUN! stamped at just four sites around the Marina for great prizes including cruises for two on Hornblower Yachts or an overnight stay at the Doubletree Hilton. Pick up your PASSPORT TO FUN! at event HQ, the red tent on University Ave., or click to download your PASSPORT TO FUN! (pdf). Move between the north and south parts of the marina by mini train, dragon boats, your feet, or your bicycle!


Let's hear it for the red, white, and blue...but keep it green, too. The party shouldn't leave the environment trashed. If you can, bring your own dishes -- Frisbees double as plates! A bandana is your cloth napkin to use at all of the international food booths. With water stations located around the event, you can refill your own reusable bottle and keep a lot of plastic out of the landfill. Use the recycling stations located throughout the marina for your disposables.


Getting There  

Ride your bike over the Berkeley bicycle overpass and use the free valet parking by Richmond Spokes near Adventure Playground. Or take AC Transit from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. This only runs until 6:30PM, however and does not come back into the marina. To leave on AC Transit after the fireworks, walk out over the freeway overpass to University and 5th St. Accessible Info.

Free admission. Alcohol-free event. Free valet bicycle parking. No cars in or out after 7pm but lots of free parking before then.


Although the 4th of July event is alcohol-free outside, there are several restaurants in the Marina where you may sit down and have a drink.


For more information or a program of events, visit

National Night Out 2012 - August 7th

National Night Out 2012The "29th Annual National Night Out" (NNO), a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, 2012.  We cordially invite you and your community to be a part of our NIGHT OUT 2012 team.  


Last year's National Night Out campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. In all, over 37 million people participated in National Night Out 2012.


NATIONAL NIGHT OUT is designed to:

  • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
  • Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
  • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
  • Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Every year I try and make it out to all of the different events going on during National Night Out to  answer questions, assist with issues in the neighborhood and just talk to neighbors.  It's a wonderful opportunity to get to know  your neighbors, Police Officers, Firefighters and other City staff.  I hope hope to see you and your neighbors on August 7th for National Night Out!  To find out more information, visit  If you'd like to sign up, contact Officer Stephanie Polizziani at, or fax the registration form found at the link above to 510-981-5819.



Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions, concerns or comments.

Darryl Moore
Berkeley City Council, District 2 
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Office of Councilmember Darryl Moore | 2180 Milvia Street, 5th Floor | Berkeley | CA | 94704