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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Mary Kusmiss, BPD Sergeant / PIO, (510) 981-5780

Thieves Use Ruses To Steal From Community

Berkeley, California (Monday, December 19, 2011) - The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) is warning the community that periodic trends occur in which thieves use ruses to commit theft, burglary, fraud and other crimes.

On December 8, 2011 in the afternoon, two (2) suspects came to a home in the 1000 block of Addison Street claiming to be from “COMCAST” and told a resident that they were there to do work. The resident called the cable company and confirmed there was no scheduled appointment for the address. The same men returned on December 9, 2011 and when asked for their COMCAST identification, they had none. The resident described both suspects as Hispanic or Latino males, 40s, one wearing a faded old COMCAST polo shirt and jeans. The suspects fled in an older white Ford F150 or similar type truck with two ladders on the rack with a partial plate of _6J4699_.

There have been two (2) other crimes involving ruses with suspect(s) posing as water or plumbing repairmen. This type of ruse has been used in past years and often preyed on the eldery. 

November 28 – 11:50 a.m. -12:50 a.m. - 1400 block of Ninth Street
Three (3) Suspects - East Indian or Pakistani men in their 20s told an older couple that their water smelled bad. The suspects lured them to the back yard to engage them about it. Items of jewelry were stolen from their home.

November 30, 2011- 2:00 p.m. – 2100 block of Stuart Street
A suspect told a man in his 90s that there was a problem with the water pipes of his house. The suspect, a stocky Hispanic male, 45-50, 5’5” led the resident to the back yard. The suspect went into the home and stole jewelry.

  • BPD is reminding community members of the following crime prevention:

    Be very alert/aware of activity around your home & neighborhood.
  • DO NOT allow anyone in your home that you do not know, have not hired or screened, regardless of what company or inspection entity they claim to be from. Call BPD.
  • Call BPD to report any suspicious people or activity, in particular if you spot the truck mentioned above.
  • If you have an older neighbor or neighbors, get to know them and please give attention to any unusual activity in or around their home(s).

For more resources, visit the BPD website. www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/police If you note suspicious individual(s) or activity, please call BPD’s non-emergency line at (510) 981-5900. For crimes in progress, dial 911 or (510) 981-5911 from your cell phone.


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