Berkeley police investigate 5 reports of stolen cellphones in 12 days

Yellow tape reading "POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS" over a road, white, red, blue lights can be seen in the blurred background.
Daniel Kim/File

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Berkeley Police Department investigated five reports of stolen cellphones in 12 days, according to a Nixle alert released Tuesday.

At 9:55 p.m. on Jan. 15, a woman walking on Milvia Street between Channing Way and Durant Avenue was approached by three male suspects. One of the suspects grabbed the woman’s cellphone from her hand, and the group ran away. The alert described the suspects as Black, 14 to 18 years old, and 5 foot, 3 inches to 6 feet tall. Two suspects wore dark hooded sweatshirts, and the third suspect wore a red hooded sweatshirt.

About 5 p.m. on Jan. 17, a woman was walking her dog in Live Oak Park and using her cellphone when a suspect approached her from behind, placed her in a “headlock” and tried to take her phone. The suspect pushed the woman to the ground, wrestled her phone away and ran to a light-colored vehicle.

Between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. on Jan. 23, a man talking on his cellphone on Dana Street was approached by two suspects who tried to take his phone and bag. The man held onto his phone, but the suspects ran away with the man’s bag, containing his camera and laptop.  

At 1:21 p.m. on Jan. 24, a man was talking on his cellphone on the 2300 block of Shattuck Avenue when a suspect approached him from behind, slapped his face, grabbed his cellphone and ran away. The alert described the suspect as Black, possibly juvenile and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt.

At 11 p.m. on Jan. 25, a woman and her friends were walking toward the intersection of College Avenue and Bancroft Way when a male suspect ran up from behind them and grabbed the woman’s phone from her hands. The suspect then ran eastbound on Bancroft Way.  The alert described the suspect as Black, in his mid-20s, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and wearing layered clothing and a dark beanie cap.

At 2:11 p.m. on Jan. 27, a man was sitting at a table inside McDonald’s on Shattuck Avenue, using his cellphone, when a male suspect approached him and tapped him on the shoulder. The suspect proceeded to grab the man’s head and shake it back and forth before seizing the cellphone and running away. Witnesses described the suspect as Black, in his 20s, 5 feet, 10 inches and wearing long pants.

Alexandra Casey is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @acasey_dc.

Correction(s):
A previous version of the headline accompanying this article incorrectly stated that Berkeley Police Department is investigating five cell phone robberies. In fact, the department is investigating four cell phone robberies and one cell phone theft.