Rash of Berkeley backpack muggings could be connected

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Berkeley Police Department is advising caution for North End campus residents following a robbery series.

Police say there have been six pedestrian robberies between October 8th and 12th. The majority of cases have been handled by Berkeley Police; UC Police handled one of those cases.

Police believe that based on the suspect descriptions and the close proximity of the incidents that they are related.

In one incident on October 8, the victim was robbed at gunpoint at a bus stop outside Cory Hall on Hearst Avenue. The suspect allegedly sat next to the victim, brandished a gun and demanded the victim’s property. The victim was using their laptop at the time. The suspect then fled in the passenger seat of a waiting sedan northbound on LeRoy Avenue.

The next night at around 10:30 p.m. a black male suspect approached a victim who was walking home to his residence on the 2500 block of LeConte Avenue. The suspect was said to have emerged from the shadows with a gun and demanded the victim’s property. The victim complied and handed over his backpack. The suspect fled eastbound out of the victim’s view.

Just 14 minutes later a victim walking on northbound LeRoy Avenue towards LeConte Ave. heard someone running south down LeRoy from LeConte. The victim reported to police that he saw a gun in the suspect’s hand as he approached. Again, the suspect demanded the victim’s backpack and fled southbound on LeRoy.

On October 12 at 8:10 p.m. a victim reported a suspect getting out of a parked car as he was walking on the 1900 block of Virginia Street. The victim was allegedly robbed at gunpoint for his backpack as he neared his residence. The suspect fled in an unknown direction.  

On October 12 a suspect with a “tan” complexion was seen around 1:00 a.m. approaching a victim walking eastbound on Ridge Road. The suspect pulled out a gun and robbed the victim of their backpack.
The suspect ran westbound on Ridge Road.

Berkeley Police Department encourages community members to follow these safety tips when walking at night:

Pay attention to your surroundings
Travel in large groups whenever possible
Consider putting your smart phone in a pocket while in transit
Attempt to travel in well lighted, highly populated areas whenever possible

If you have any information regarding these cases, please contact the BPD Robbery Detail via Dispatch at (510)981-5742.  For crimes in progress, call 9-1-1 or (510) 981-5911 from your cell phone.