Police seek suspect in fondling of girl

Police are asking the public's help to find a man they say inappropriately touched a 6-year-old girl.

Police said on Friday around 4 p.m. at Think Now Elementary School, a man approached the girl, grabbed her and touched her in an inappropriate manner.

The girl struggled and was able to get away and tell an adult about what happened, police added.

The suspect is described as a white man, tall with a heavy build, with black short hair and a black mustache. He was last seen wearing a gray and blue polo style shirt, light bluejeans and black shoes.

Crime Stoppers of Oakland is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Youth and Family Services Division at 510-238-3641 or Crime Stoppers of Oakland tip line at 510-777-8572.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff


Mayor Quan's car windshield smashed

Mayor Jean Quan walked out of a community meeting in the Oakland hills Monday to find that her car's rear windshield had been smashed.

Nothing was stolen from inside the vehicle, a Toyota Prius, which was parked outside the Chabot Space and Science Center, spokesman Sean Maher said. It was unclear whether the incident was an act of vandalism or an attempted burglary.

Last month, one of Quan's opponents in this year's mayoral race, Joe Tuman, announced online that his car's side window had been smashed in downtown Oakland. Nothing was taken from Tuman's car.

-- Matthew Artz, Staff


Residents warned of phone scam

Police are once again asking residents to be aware of a phone scam, this time with the caller telling people they are with the Fremont Police Department.

According to police, a Fremont resident recently received a call at work from a suspect claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service.

The suspect made a second call and the caller ID displayed the main phone number of the Fremont Police Department. The suspect claimed he was with the department and used the name of one of the Fremont officers.

Since early last year, the department has received numerous complaints from residents who have been targeted, police said. The incident starts with someone getting a call allegedly from the IRS. The caller then tells the victim they owe a large sum of money and if it's not paid quickly, the person could be arrested.

However, the Fremont Police Department does not participate in debt or tax collections.

Anyone who has been targeted in a similar scam is asked to report it to the IRS or to call the Fremont Police Department at 510-790-6800 and select option three.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff


High incarceration rate to be discussed

The high rate of imprisonment of minorities is the subject of a Black History Month program Saturday.

Panelists include Freddye Davis of the NAACP's Hayward branch; Tirien Steinbach of East Bay Community Law Center; Jason Bell of Project Rebound, San Francisco State; and Maya E. Woods-Cadiz of the Oakland Unified School District. William H. Hanson of the Law and Democracy Program at Chabot College will facilitate the free program.

The discussion takes place at 5 p.m. Saturday at Palma Ceia Baptist Church, 28605 Ruus Road. Refreshments will be served.

The 2014 national topic for Black History Month is "Civil Rights in America." The Hayward Area Historical Society is hosting the local program in partnership with the Women's Ministry of Palma Ceia Baptist Church, Chabot College and the South Bay Area Chapter of the Links, Inc., a service organization. For details, call 510-581-0223 or go to www.haywardareahistory.org.

-- Rebecca Parr, Staff


EBMUD will wait to ask for voluntary cutbacks

The East Bay Municipal District will wait until Feb. 11 before deciding how much to ask customers to voluntarily reduce water use during this dry year.

EBMUD board members said Tuesday they want another two weeks to get a firmer prediction of available supplies from its primary water source, the Mokelumne River, and an emergency supply from the Sacramento River.

Some other Northern California water districts already have set conservation targets in the wake of Gov. Jerry Brown asking residents statewide to cut water use 20 percent.

EBMUD spokeswoman Abby Figueroa said the district is in better shape this year because its customers are consuming 17 percent less water than they did in 2007.

The East Bay district serves 1.3 million people in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

-- Denis Cuff, Staff


Police arrest burglary suspect

A suspected East Oakland house burglar was arrested Tuesday afternoon, but his accomplice escaped, police said.

Police were trying to confirm the suspect's name.

Officers responded to a house in 2400 block of 12th Avenue about 12:45 upon calls from residents in the area. One man was arrested coming out of the rear of the house by Cmdr. Rick Orozco and Officer Dana Ly.

Police believed the second burglar was still inside, but after an extensive search using a police dog, no one was found.

Orozco said police were able to get to the scene before anything was stolen.

-- Harry Harris, Staff


Event to focus on BART station redesign

A drop-in open house to present and discuss plans for a redesign of the downtown BART station will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday on the third floor Community Meeting Room at the Berkeley Library, 2090 Kittredge St.

The design team for the project will attend to discuss the work and objectives, intended to tie in with efforts to improve transportation connections, pedestrian safety and the attractiveness and viability of the commercial area.

-- Chris Treadway, Staff


Miss East Bay Cities to be crowned Feb. 15

Thirteen women will be vying for the first ever Miss East Bay Cities crown Feb. 15 at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts.

The winner qualifies for the Miss California in Fresno this summer, and that winner advances to compete for Miss America.

Miss East Bay Cities pageant is available to young women between the ages of 17 and 24 who live, work or go to school in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The winner will receive scholarship funds.

The 13 women will compete in a private interview, onstage question, talent, evening wear and physical fitness.

The pageant begins at 7 p.m. and the center is at 1428 Alice St. in Oakland. Tickets are $25 adults and $20 for children and students with IDs.

To purchase tickets or for more information about the pageant visit Facebook at Facebook.com/misseastbaycities, go to http://misseastbay.org or send an email to misseastbayorg@gmail.com.

-- Cathie Gatison, Staff