UC Berkeley students targeted in spate of robberies


No arrests have been made in these robberies, but police are definitely stepping up their presence around campus. They're using a mobile command center after dark to serve coffee and hot chocolate and to hopefully calm the nerves of students in the wake of the robberies. They're also instructing them on how to stay safe.

Lien Do and her friends are making a music video in Willard Park, the same place two Cal students were robbed at gunpoint early Saturday when they were taking pictures of a meteor shower.

Two suspects in their 20s robbed the pair of their phones, camera, and tripod. No one was hurt, but it has Do thinking about her safety.

"I haven't seen anything personally, but everyone makes a point to tell me to be very very careful," she said.

On Thursday at 2 a.m., a man in his 30s was robbed of his laptop while he was sitting on the steps of Urban Outfitters on Bancroft. An armed man struck the victim with his gun then took off.

The same night, two other armed suspects stole an iPad from an ice cream store on Telegraph.

And on Tuesday, Dec. 10, a female student suffered minor injuries when she robbed of her phone and wallet by two teens while walking home on Benvenue St. near campus.

"What I like to tell people is if it's important to you it might be important to someone else," said Krista Manchester with UC Berkeley police.

The crimes gave prompted UC Berkeley police to beef up patrols around campus. They're tweeting out information about the robberies and warning students -- don't be a target.

"Just be aware of your surroundings," Manchester said. "Walk in well-lit areas, pay attention to what's going on around you, don't be so engrossed with your cellphone, ie texting talking on phone looking at Internet."

Many students know to always walk in groups or take campus shuttles after dark.

"I definitely make sure to always be with friends, never walk alone anywhere, and know where on campus is lit, where on campus there's access to the police department if I'm ever in a situation that I need help," UC Berkeley student Alyssa Block said.

This year Berkeley police report an increase in smartphone and tablet robberies.

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.