Berkeley Police Department officers recovered a car Monday that was reported stolen by San Pablo Police Department.
According to UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich, a UCPD officer noticed something wrong with the licence plate of a white Ford van near Hearst Avenue and Gayley Road about 11:25 p.m. Monday. The officer requested the vehicle to yield, but the vehicle failed to do so.
“The officer spotted something that didn’t look right regarding the license plate, and it was the license plate vehicle code violation that drew his attention,” Reich said. “He was trying to make a stop on the vehicle for that vehicle code violation and then that vehicle failed to yield — failed to stop.”
The officer followed the vehicle for a couple of blocks, until the vehicle accelerated at a high speed into the opposing lane of traffic, Reich said in an email. The officer then decided to stop the pursuit and lost sight of the car.
“(UCPD officers) look at the nature of the violation, the need to apprehend the suspect, and the safety of the public,” Reich said in her email. “In this case, we were only aware of a vehicle code violation at the time, so the officer correctly stopped the pursuit when the driver of the stolen car drove into oncoming traffic endangering the public.”
Shortly after midnight, about 12:45 a.m., the vehicle was then recovered by BPD, Reich said.
BPD spokesperson Officer Byron White said BPD received a report of a suspicious vehicle at 1603 Prince St. According to White, the caller said a person was exiting a van and removed a bicycle out of the vehicle, before getting on the bicycle and fleeing the scene.
“They called us, thinking it was suspicious,” White said. “Officers got up there, and they discovered (the car) was stolen.”
The vehicle was reported stolen from the city of San Pablo, White said. According to White, the recovered vehicle was towed because officers could not reach the owner of the vehicle.
White said the suspect was described as a Black male in his 30s in the call for service. The suspect was also described as having a “heavy build” and was last seen wearing a red or orange reflective vest and black or blue clothing.
According to White, any investigation regarding the case would be handled by the San Pablo Police Department.
Check back for updates.
A headline attached to a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the stolen car was recovered in North Berkeley. In fact, the car was chased through North Berkeley but was recovered in South Berkeley.