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Four pedestrian robberies occur in Berkeley last week

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NOVEMBER 01, 2011

Four pedestrian robberies — at least two of which involved firearms — occurred last week in Berkeley, police said.

None of the victims were UC Berkeley students and for three of the crimes, no suspects have been identified or arrested, according to Berkeley police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, spokesperson for the Berkeley Police Department.

On Oct. 26, a 22-year-old man was walking at Derby and Fulton streets at approximately 10 p.m. when he was approached by two suspects, one of whom pointed a gun at him and demanded the victim’s backpack, according to Kusmiss.

The victim described the armed suspect as a black male adult between the ages of 20 and 25 with shoulder-length dreadlocks and wearing a blue plaid shirt. The other suspect, a black male wearing a hooded sweatshirt, stood by. The suspects made off with the victim’s backpack, which contained his iPhone, Apple laptop, wallet and other items, according to Kusmiss.

Seven BPD patrol officers and two sergeants assisted in the case and conducted an area check. The suspect was not apprehended. According to a report from the department, the armed suspect weighed approximately 160 pounds and was about 5 feet 10 inches, while the other suspect was between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet and weighed between 150 and 160 pounds.

A 36-year-old South Berkeley man was also robbed at gunpoint while walking home Friday at approximately 9:45 p.m, according to Kusmiss. When he reached the 1700 block of Oregon Street, the victim told police that a black juvenile wearing dark clothing and a scarf covering his face came up behind him, pointed a pistol and demanded the victim’s phone.

After taking the man’s iPhone and a small amount of cash, the victim said the suspect ran westbound on Oregon Street. Seven Berkeley patrol officers and one sergeant conducted an area check but the suspect was not found. The victim described the suspect — who he thinks followed him after he left the BART station earlier — was between 17 and 19 years old and approximately 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches.

On Sunday, a 22-year-old man from Union City was dropped off by friends at approximately 4:15 a.m. at the corner of Ashby Avenue and 9th Street after a night of drinking in San Francisco, according to Kusmiss. The victim said he was suddenly punched in the face and, after regaining consciousness, discovered that his Samsung cell phone was missing. He said he looked for help for 30 minutes before finding a payphone and calling 911, according to Kusmiss.

Three Berkeley police officers and one sergeant responded to the scene. According to the police report, the victim refused a medical assessment and became uncooperative but later consented to have his injuries — a laceration to his inner cheek and blood is his mouth — photographed before being driven home by police. An area check was conducted by officers, but the suspect was not found.

A fourth armed residential robbery occurred Saturday, but police would not comment on the case because the investigation is ongoing.

Between January and August this year, approximately 24 pedestrian robberies occurred per month, with 38 in August, according to statistics from the department. A total of 365 robberies occurred during 2010, according to city records submitted to the Federal Investigation Bureau.

Contact Oksana Yurovsky at 


NOVEMBER 02, 2011