Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

If they were smart they wouldn’t be criminals, right?

By kbender
Monday, September 29th, 2008 at 2:22 pm in Uncategorized.

A new kind of fall shopping spree 


We’ve all heard stories about the not-so smart criminals. There’s dozens of Web sites devoted to stories of stupid crooks who get caught doing things even stupider than committing crimes. In fact, here is a Web site that has conveniently compiled the “Top 10 Stupid Criminals of 2007″ http://www.neatorama.com/2007/12/18/the-top-ten-stupid-criminals-of-2007/

Berkeley has its’ fair share of dim criminals and a few of them were out this past weekend.


On Sunday morning, Officer Tom Jeremiason was called to the 2000 block of San Pablo Avenue for a report of an alarm activation at the Fashion 4 Less store.  When he arrived at the store, he found one of the plate glass windows broken. Jeremiason checked further and found a man leaving through the window with an arm full of clothing. Jeremiason questioned Walter Kirby, a 40-year-old homeless man, about his shopping spree and here’s what he said, `I saw the window open and went inside to get some pants, shirts and socks.’ Kirby may not have broken the window himself but he was arrested for burglary and possession of a crack pipe. Looks like he’ll be wearing an orange jail jumpsuit instead of his new duds at least for a while.


Bank robbery 101: Put on your disguise somewhere other than in front of the bank


This past Friday night Officers Frank Landrum and Jeff Shannon, members of what is commonly referred to around the station as Berkeley’s “Elite Bicycle Unit,”  were sent to investigate a report of suspicious people outside the Mechanics Bank at 2301 Shattuck Ave. Seems an alert citizen had seen the men putting on bandannas and dark colored hoodies outside the bank and thought, `Hmmm… that doesn’t look quite right and called police,’ said Officer Andrew Frankel.

Arriving on the scene, the bike cops found two men hiding in the bushes outside the bank and another guy casing the bank. 

As Landrum and Shannon approached the suspects, they took off on foot. A short chase ensued with police detaining two of the suspects near the scene and a third hiding in a parking garage.  The suspects were armed with a knife, a replica of a handgun, a ski mask and a duffel bag.  Police said the three, a 13-and-14-year-old from Oakland, and Clyde Anderson, 18 of Oakland, admitted to planning a bank robbery. They were all arrested for attemped robbery, resisting arrest, conspiracy and minors violating laws. 


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