TBS Today, Oct. 20

For today's top story, we followed up on a sex crime attack near Cal over the summer.

Many news outlets covered the initial BPD press release but, surprisingly, no one else seems to be following the case.

Police say Wilmer Guerra Peña jumped out of the bushes and attacked an exchange student June 21, carrying her toward the open trunk of his car.

We have the exclusive on what happened when he went to court.

Berkeley sex crime attack near Cal: Suspect held to answer
Police say Wilmer Guerra Peña jumped out of the bushes and attacked an exchange student, carrying her toward the open trunk of his car.

In case you missed it, we also wrote about two men with a gun who robbed a pair of late-night businesses on University on Wednesday night.

Police believe the robberies may be linked.

Back-to-back armed robberies at Berkeley shops on University
Robberies in Berkeley are up 23% compared to last year, with more than 300 robberies in 2023, according to BPD data.

Robberies in Berkeley are up 23% compared to last year, with more than 300 robberies so far in 2023, according to BPD data.

That's slightly above the historic average of one robbery a day in Berkeley. We'll be keeping an eye on this.

On Thursday, BPD told us that approximately 27% of the robberies this year have involved firearms. Historically it was closer to 20%, so that's also not a good sign.

We also wrote about Wednesday's earthquake, in part because some in Berkeley did feel it but also because nearly everyone seemed to get a cellphone alert about it.

Not everyone was pleased.

Magnitude 4.2 earthquake near Isleton felt in Berkeley
The quake occurred at 9:29 a.m. with a depth of about 6.7 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Service.

We tend to think any quake felt locally is a great reminder to check your earthquake kit and evacuation plan. Or at least think about taking some disaster prep steps.

The city has some great resources.

Police chase update

Also, we updated our story on the Orinda police chase into Berkeley on Tuesday with some additional details from the CoCo County sheriff's office — including how it all began.

Don't miss the update.

Orinda police chase leads to Berkeley crash, arrest
A neighbor said he was driving down Tunnel Road when he saw the police chase in his rearview mirror. He turned off the road to avoid being hit.

ARCO gas station fundraiser

In other news, you may have noticed a few weeks ago that the ARCO gas station on Telegraph Avenue, just over the Oakland border, had a break-in.

Writing on GoFundMe, the business provided some context: "Unfortunately, we had an attempted burglary that almost caused a man to lose his life."

The incident happened Sept. 28 when robbers in three vehicles "arrived to attack a single person in service of their community to try to steal an ATM. They fired over a dozen shots," wrote Faheem Bahram. "We are grateful that no one was seriously injured."

The business asked the community for help to fix the damage and is trying to raise $10,000. It's not there yet.

ARCO also noted that it is minority-owned, has been around for 20 years "and remained open 24 hours, even during the pandemic."

Shoutout to Scanner member Chris Grampp for alerting us to this fundraiser.

Read more on the GoFundMe page.

Halloween Kidical Mass comes Oct. 28 (next weekend!)

Scanner families: Mark your calendar for what looks to be a great event next weekend: A Halloween Kidical Mass bike ride in Berkeley capped off with an ice cream truck party, Saturday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m.

From the organizers: "Kidical Mass bike rides are a great way to build kids' confidence on their bikes, and to have fun with family and friends. Our last Kidical Mass had over 100 riders from all over the East Bay (in the rain!) and was a blast. This time, we're riding the weekend before Halloween, and costumes are encouraged (but not required)."

The route begins at Allston Way and Milvia Street and ends at Cedar Rose Park via Allston, Strawberry Creek Park and the West Street Pathway/Ohlone Greenway.

Kids, caregivers and anyone who wants to support kids biking are welcome. See the full event listing and route map on Eventbrite.


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