Associate of former Berkeley City Council member arrested on suspicion of burglary

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An associate of Laurie Capitelli, a landlord and former Berkeley City Council member, was charged with two felony counts — one of burglary and another of theft.

The alleged burglary took place Dec. 8, 2016 about 4:10 p.m. at an apartment building located at 1316 Bonita Way in unit 4, according to the declaration of probable cause authored by Berkeley Police Department Officer Scott Castle. The suspect, Scott Banister, used keys to access the apartment and allegedly stole a laptop computer once inside, according to the declaration. He was arrested by BPD on Dec. 9, 2016 about 2:09 p.m.

“The suspect was captured by a security camera inside the apartment,” Castle alleged in the declaration. “The suspect was identified via record checks as Banister.”

Banister was charged with first degree residential burglary and grand theft of personal property, according to a complaint filed by the Alameda County Superior Courts.

In the complaint, Jonathan Marcus is listed as the victim and occupant of the apartment. Castle said in the declaration that Marcus told BPD that he recognized Banister because he worked with the building’s landlord.

“(Banister) admitted that he entered the apartment to use the bathroom using keys,” Castle said in the declaration. “He denied stealing anything.”

According to the East Bay Times, Capitelli is an owner of the apartment building on Bonita Avenue. The East Bay Times also reported that Marcus was in a dispute with Capitelli and the building’s other landlord, Marjorie Sperber, regarding landlord-tenant issues.

The East Bay Times found that Capitelli, Sperber and Banister are listed as co-trustees on more than a half-dozen deeds of trust on Contra Costa County properties.

Banister, Capitelli, Sperber, Marcus and BPD spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Contact Carina Zhao at [email protected].