Berkeley burglary suspect featured in "Wanted" posters in custody

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About 300 Wild West-style "Wanted" posters popped up along downtown Berkeley this week showing surveillance photos of a burglary suspect responsible for break-ins along the city's hallowed Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood. 

The poster includes a caption that reads, "This idiot has broken into several small businesses in Berkeley."

"We want to catch some attraction from people," said Gustavo Orozco, manager of Guacamole 61, a taqueria at the Epicurious Garden food court on Shattuck Avenue.

"He broke into this lock to get into the garden and then broke the main door," Orozco said.

Berkeley police surveillance video shows a man using a rock to break into the food court at 2 a.m. a couple of weeks ago.

"He went straight into our place, and he broke our door and went inside the restaurant, and he knew where the safe was, so he grabbed the safe," Orozco said.

Another video shows the suspect struggling to move the safe - with $5,000 inside.

The burglar usually wore a mask. but in images taken outside the food court, you can clearly see his face, even as he tried to block a security camera.

"I think it's pretty brazen, assuming it's the same guy who's done it before," said A.J. Balano of Lush Gelato. 

Turns out, police say, he has done it before.

Berkeley police immediately identified he suspect as 65-year-old Darnell Kent. Investigators say this is at least the fifth time they've arrested him in recent years for similar break-ins. Court records show he has a rap sheet for burglary dating back to 1979.

"I mean he kind of knew the layout, for him to crash through our window and then crawl under to get to them," Balano said.

Other shops that have been broken recently into are fed up. Burglars twice hit the Love at First Bite bakery.

"The first time they just took the money out of the register, and they took the iPad. They just took it off, and the second time they smashed the window and just took this whole console," said the bakery's Ashley Stillwater.

Luis Gregor, co-owner of NIco's 1508, said his business has been hit several times.

"We're small businesses, and every little bit hurts. We' out here just trying to survive, it's not like the Bay Aea's cheap either," Gregor said.