Four robberies reported near UC campus


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Police spokesman Officer Andrew Frankel said that while robberies in that area are not uncommon, on Sunday night there were four incidents in less than three hours, all within blocks of each other.

"It's a little unusual to see that many in such a short period of time," he said.

At about 8 p.m., a woman walking at Ellsworth and Haste streets was approached from behind by a man who tried to grab her purse. She resisted and was punched in the face. Two suspects, one described as a Hispanic man in his 20s, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium build and wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt and baggy pants, fled without the purse.

An hour later, a man was confronted at Dwight Way and Telegraph Avenue by three or four men. One of the suspects -- described as a Hispanic man in his early 20s, 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a heavy build and a shaved head, and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants -- simulated a handgun under his sweatshirt and made off with the man's cell phone.

Minutes later, a man walking on Channing Way near Dana Street was robbed of his wallet by five to six men.

Shortly before 11 p.m., a man walking on Dwight Way near Telegraph Avenue was approached by four men. As they walked past, one the suspects -- a Hispanic man in his early 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a heavy build, black hair and wearing a navy blue long-sleeve shirt and dark pants -- punched the man in the jaw and grabbed his cell phone.

Based on the suspect descriptions and the nature of the robberies, "There's a good chance they're related," Frankel said.

In two of the robberies, the victims were talking on their cell phones at the time, according to Frankel.

"Be aware of your surroundings," Frankel cautioned. "Plugged in is not necessarily the best thing."

No arrests have been made in connection with the robberies. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Berkeley police robbery division at (510) 981-5742.

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