Homeless man arrested for sex crimes

February 17, 2009 5:43:31 PM PST
A homeless man who recently was released from state prison has been arrested on suspicion of peeping, prowling, burglary, sexual battery and a parole violation in connection with a prowling incident in Berkeley last Thursday night, police spokesman Andrew Frankel said today.

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Frankel said 46-year-old James Beldin, who was released from state prison early this month, allegedly peered into a residence in the 2000 block of Parker Street on Thursday night.

Frankel said one of the alleged victims discovered a prowler who was using a ladder to peep into his girlfriend's second floor apartment window.

The male victim then chased the suspect, allegedly Beldin, on foot to a house in the 1900 block of Parker Street where he lost sight of him, according to Frankel.

Responding officers sealed off the block and began a systematic search of the neighborhood, which is located in central Berkeley, Frankel said.

After getting information from community members, officers found Beldin "cowering behind a rear porch pillar" in the 1900 block of Parker Street and he was taken into custody without incident, Frankel said.

Frankel said Beldin already was wanted for a sexual assault case which occurred in Berkeley on Feb. 9, one week after he was released from prison.

Police also think Beldin is responsible for at least three other similar crimes in neighboring cities since he was released from prison, Frankel said.

Berkeley police are working on those cases with police in those cities, he said.

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