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Police Join Forces Against South Berkeley Robberies Near Ashby BART

Police from Berkeley, BART and Oakland are collaborating in response to a rash of possibly linked recent robberies in South Berkeley and North Oakland, with several near the Ashby BART station.

Photo credit: Rob Shea
Photo credit: Rob Shea
Following recent robberies in South Berkeley near the Ashby BART station, Berkeley and BART police will conduct joint patrols in the area, according to Berkeley police.

Berkeley police also are collaborating with Oakland police to see if the Berkeley crimes are related to other recent robberies nearby in North Oakland, according to Berkeley Police Officer Jennifer Coats. On this past Monday morning alone, several robberies occurred in North Oakland near the Berkeley border. 

"The detectives are currently working on trying to see if we have cases that are related," Coats said.

The joint Berkeley-BART police patrols will take place once a week, she said.

"A BART PD officer and a BPD officer will pair up and patrol the areas around the Ashby Bart Station and south Berkeley," she said. "Their primary focus is on robbery suppression and crime prevention in the area."

Coats cited three recent Berkeley robberies in the same area a couple of blocks east of the BART station that appear to have similarities, including the use of vehicles taken during carjackings. 

"It appears the suspects have been using vehicles taken during carjacking and then committing robberies," she said. The Monday morning robberies in North Oakland involved a vehicle that had been carjacked, and Oakland police said a Toyota that was carjacked on Thursday (and later recovered) may have been intended for robberies in North Oakland and possibly South Berkeley.
 
Coats provided these summaries of the three South Berkeley robberies:

1. Case 13-71458

On Monday, December 9, 2013 at approximately 9:40 a.m. a robbery occurred near the intersection of Tremont Street and Woolsey Street.  The victim was walking in the area when she observed the suspect walking towards her.  The suspect armed with a gun demanded her backpack.  The suspect then pointed the gun at the victim.  The suspect then took the victim’s backpack and fled to a waiting vehicle.  The suspect then fled in a black sedan.  Another party walked by and the victim used their cell phone to call the police. 
 
The suspects are described as:
 
“Black Male, late 20s, 5’8”, small-medium build, short black dreadlocks, mustache wearing a black beanie cap, blue or black hooded sweater and dark pants, armed with a gun.”
 
2. Case 13-70598
 
On Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at approximately 9:30 p.m. a robbery occurred near the intersection of Prince Street and Fulton Street.  The victim reported standing next to a vehicle talking with a friend.  The suspects drove past him in a mid-size, tan, four-door sedan.  The vehicle suddenly stopped and the suspects got out of the vehicle.  One of the suspects was armed with a gun.  The suspect demanded the victim’s wallet and cell phones.  The suspect took their property got back into the vehicle drove from the area. 
 
The suspects are described as:
 
“Black Male, 20, 6’2”, 180 pounds wearing a black beanie, black jacket and dark baggy jeans.”
 
“Black Male, 20, 6’, 170 pounds wearing a dark jacket and black beanie.”
 
3. Case 13-70589
 
On Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at approximately 9:30 p.m. a robbery occurred near the intersection of Wheeler Street and Prince Street.  The victim reported that he was walking home.  The victim heard the sounds of someone running and turned around to see a silver vehicle.  He said the suspect ran up on him.  The suspects grabbed the victim and pressed and unknown object against the victim.  The suspect demanded the victim’s wallet and phone.  While the suspect was holding the victim a second suspect came up from behind and went through the victim’s pockets. 
 
The suspects are described as:
 
“Black Male, 20-25 years old, 5’10”, average build wearing a beanie cap and all dark clothing.”
 
Suspect #2:  Unknown

Berkeley has experienced a surge in street robberies this year. In three this past week near the UC Berkeley campus, victims all suffered minor injuries.

Two occurred early Thursday morning:
And one occurred Tuesday night near high-rise dorms in the south-of-campus area:
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For other police-related news on Berkeley Patch, see our "Police & Fire" section under the “News” tab.

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