Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Crime is in full bloom in Berkeley

By kbender
Saturday, May 24th, 2008 at 9:01 pm in Uncategorized.


One of our intrepid Berkeley reporters, Doug Oakley, has been following the crime beat in Berkeley this week and he reports that crime has been sprouting like bad weeds in a spring garden.

A man was arrested for a home-invasion robbery and attempted sexual assault, and a masked bandit did his ninth takeover robbery of a Berkeley business _ all in the last week.

At 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Berkeley police officers were spotted rifling through bushes and in garbage cans for evidence near Mathews and Blake streets after police arrested a man who entered a woman’s home nearby and attempted to sexually assault her. The police returned the next day to canvass the area further.

The assault was thwarted “purely on the strength of the victim,” said police spokesman Officer Andrew Frankel. Frankel declined to released the circumstances surrounded the crime or the name of man who was arrested because the cause is still under investigation.

And on Tuesday, a man going around holding up businesses and their customers in Berkeley finished his ninth job at Berkeley Wireless on Ashby Avenue.

Takeover style robberies, where someone not only robs the business’ cash register  but also empties the pockets of patrons who have the bad luck of being inside at the time, is a relatively new kind of crime in Berkeley within last year, police say.

Police are asking anyone who knows the man to turn him in. But police understand it’s often difficult to get victims to positively identify someone who wears a mask while committing a crime.

And finally for the good news, sort of: Last Saturday night a 17-year old student at Berkeley Technical Academy turned himself in to police after he allegedly shot a fellow student May 15 at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Dwight Way.

The student is being held at Alameda County Juvenile Hall, according to Frankel.
Police said a teacher at the school picked up the student who was shot and started to take him to the hospital, but then flagged  down a cop who got an ambulance for him.

The boy underwent surgery and is recovering, according to police.


There is also somewhat of a silver lining to the murders that have taken place in Berkeley in the last three weeks. Police detectives solved both recent murders_ of Christopher Wootton, 21, and Maceo Smith, 33, within 48 hours.

Doug Oakley

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