The assault occurred at 7:43 p.m. near the southwest corner of the Valley Life Sciences Building, UC police said in a crime alert today, Tuesday. A male passerby chased the suspected robber, who dropped the phone and fled, police said.
The robbery coincided with a Berkeley police report prepared for tonight's City Council meeting that said pedestrian robberies – led by cell phone thefts at night – jumped 35 percent for the first half of this year over the same period last year.
The female victim in the Monday night robbery, who is affiliated with UC Berkeley, "was walking along the Grinnell Path from Oxford Street while texting on her iPhone," the crime alert said.
"The victim put the phone in her pant pocket. As she neared the south side of Valley Life Sciences she felt someone run into her. The male suspect grabbed her phone from her pocket knocking her to the ground.
"The suspect fled the scene. A male passerby chased the suspect to the south side of Haas Pavilion where the suspect dropped the phone."
The phone was returned to the victim, who suffered minor injuries, police said. Campus police searched the area for the robber but did not find him.
According to police, the suspect was described as "a Black male, 20-25 years of age, 6’0” in height, with a medium build, either short hair or bald, wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt with either white or light colored markings on the front, and light colored jeans."
Anyone with information about the crime is urged to contact the UC police
Criminal Investigation Bureau at (510) 642-0472 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at (510) 642-6760 at all other times.
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• Utilize the free Night Safety Services located at
• Travel with a friend or in a group
• Be alert and aware of your surroundings
• Avoid dark, vacant or deserted areas
• Use well-lit, well-traveled routes
• Dress in clothes and shoes which will not hamper movement
• Adopt an attitude of awareness and take precautions when you must walk
• Dial 510-642-3333 or use a Blue Light emergency phone if you need help.
For other police-related news on Berkeley Patch, see our "Police and Fire" section.