Police Seek Two Suspects Following Clark Kerr Armed Robbery
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Category: News > City > Crime
Campus police say they are concerned by the brazen attitude of two robbers, at least one of whom was armed, who broke into a suite at Clark Kerr Campus early Tuesday morning.
At 12:31 a.m., the two suspects entered the suite's kitchen through an open window and held the two occupants at gun point, police said. The suspects then took a laptop and fled the area on foot. The suspects have not been identified and there have been no arrests, police said.
After entering the suite located in Building 17, police said one suspect proceeded to slam the bedroom door and demand that the two occupants, both UC Berkeley students, hand over their laptops and wallets. The other suspect kept watch in the hallway.
Police arrived after the suspects had fled the scene. They cordoned off the area and began a search for the two suspects.
UCPD Assistant Chief Mitch Celaya said he was concerned that the crime had happened inside a UC Berkeley residence hall.
"We're very concerned at the brazenness and boldness of these criminals, that they entered and made contact with the students. It's very disconcerting," he said. "We're looking at what we can do to increase police presence in the area."
Both of the residents are members of UC Berkeley's heavyweight crew team, said one, who declined to be identified because he said he feared for his safety.
His roommate, who also declined to be identified for the same reason, said he decided to return home Tuesday afternoon after being "really shaken up" by the event.
Other residents of Clark Kerr said they were also concerned by what had happened.
"It's impossible to avoid the situation," said freshman Conrad Wear. "But I'm more inclined to use Bearwalk now and walk in a group."
Freshman Teddy Forscher, who lives a few doors down from where the robbery occurred, said that now he would "definitely keep the windows locked."
Campus officials did not issue an alert on the WarnMe system because the situation was isolated and police did not arrive until after the suspects had fled, said Martin Takimoto, director of marketing and communications for the Residential and Student Services Program.
WarnMe is a system that sends text messages and recorded calls to subscribers, informing them of emergencies on the UC Berkeley campus and the surrounding area.
Students were informed of the event when fliers were posted around Clark Kerr describing the suspects and encouraging students to be aware.
Clark Kerr has a unique set of problems that make it more likely to be affected by crime, including many ground-level rooms that make open windows easily accessible, Takimoto said.
Unlike the high-rise residential units, Clark Kerr does not have the protection of a key entry system. Much of the space on the campus is open to the public.
"We've been growing increasingly concerned about crime and safety issues, and now it's here, on our property and our residence," Takimoto said.
Campus housing officials said they would continue their efforts to educate students about crime, even if students could sometimes be lulled into a false sense of security.
"We state obnoxiously that this is an urban environment ... but Clark Kerr just doesn't feel like it," said Kathleen Hyland, facilities manager at Clark Kerr.
Hyland said she hoped students would be more aware of their surroundings after the event.
"We're all deeply saddened that this happened on such a lovely site," Hyland said. "(But) in the scheme of things, they got away with a huge shock--the outcome could have been much worse."
Anyone with information related to the robbery can call UCPD at 510-642-0472.
Contact Keena Batti at [email protected]
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