BERKELEY -- The attempted armed robbery of a UC Berkeley student as she walked alone on a pathway early Sunday morning marked the fifth robbery or attempted robbery on or near campus in less than a week, police said.
The latest victim was a 21-year-old woman who was walking east on Campanile Way, between Dwinelle Hall and Valley Life Science Building. She was approached from behind about 3 a.m. by a man who put his hands over her mouth, forced her to the ground and tried to take her purse.
During the struggle, police said, the woman pulled the man's hands away from her mouth and began to scream. The spooked attacker then ran west toward Oxford Street.
The woman suffered minor, unspecified injuries, police said; officers searched the area for the man but were unable to find him. Police described him as having shoulder-length, dark, curly hair and said he wore a dark, hooded sweatshirt and dark-colored jeans.
The incident came on the heels of another attack 2½ hours earlier on Derby Street, near Willard Park, Lt. David Frankel said. A man and a woman, both students, were approached about 12:30 a.m. by a person with a gun and robbed of camera supplies, an iPhone and a wallet, he said.
That suspect was described as Hispanic, between 18 and 20 years old, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a medium build. Police said he wore a gray, hooded sweatshirt and a gray beanie and had a black handgun. Frankel said the man jumped into an older, two-door, brown- or rust-colored car driven by another man; police did not have a complete description of that suspect.
That robbery came less than 48 hours after a 38-year-old man was robbed Thursday.
The man was sitting on the steps in front of Urban Outfitters in the 2500 block of Bancroft Way when someone approached him about 2:05 a.m., pointed a gun and demanded his property, police said. The attacker then hit the man with the gun and took off with the man's laptop, police said.
Police said the suspect is black, between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall. He is between 180 and 200 pounds, with a medium to dark complexion. Police said he was wearing a black beanie and a dark blue jacket and fled east on foot. Berkeley and UC police were unable to find him.
The victim had minor injuries from being hit with the gun, police said.
In between those robberies, two men conspired to steal an iPad from C.R.E.A.M., an ice cream shop at 2399 Telegraph Ave., police said. In that robbery, police said a man walked into the shop just after midnight Thursday, grabbed the iPad and fled to a waiting car. Two employees chased him, and one of them was punched as the suspect broke away and got into a car, which was driven by a woman.
The man suspected of grabbing the iPad is Hispanic, about 22 years old and 5 feet 11 inches tall. Police said he has a medium build and was wearing a 49ers jersey, bluejeans and a brown hat with ear flaps. The woman is Hispanic and in her 20s, approximately 5 feet 2 inches tall with a thin build. She was wearing a blue jacket and driving a white- or cream-colored sedan with tinted windows, police said.
On Dec. 10, a 21-year-old female student was robbed at gunpoint in the 2500 block of Benvenue Avenue about 8:30 p.m. Police said she was walking in the area and noticed a vehicle idling. As she walked by, two teenagers ran up behind her, pushed her up against the building, demanded her property and assaulted her. They stole her cellphone and a wallet, police said. The woman suffered minor injuries.
The suspects are a boy about 14 years old and a girl who's slightly older, police said. He is black, has a thin build, a shaved head and was wearing a maroon hoodie and black pants. She is black, slightly taller and was wearing a ponytail, a black, leather jacket and bluejeans, police said. The two sped off in a beige 2000 Jeep, possibly a Cherokee, police said.
Police urged students and others on or near the campus to utilize the Night Safety Service by calling 510-642-9255 or to walk in groups and avoid dark, deserted areas. Anyone with information about these robberies is asked to call Berkeley police at 510-981-5900 or UC police at 510-642-6760 or 510-664-8477.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.