Pair flees, crashes after vehicle theft attempt in Berkeley Hills

The getaway car hit a tree and fence before flipping on its side, community members said.

Pair flees, crashes after vehicle theft attempt in Berkeley Hills
A crashed vehicle at Eunice Street and Glen Avenue on Saturday morning, Feb. 3, 2024. Ariel Nava Photo

Berkeley police are investigating a vehicle theft attempt that saw two young men flee on foot through the Berkeley Hills on Saturday morning, evading capture.

Community members said the incident began around 8:30 a.m. on Arch Street when a neighbor called police to report an attempted vehicle theft underway on the block.

Police arrived while the suspect vehicle, a gray BMW, was still on scene in the 1100 block of Arch Street near Spruce Street.

Community members said the culprits sped off in the BMW when police arrived, ultimately crashing into another vehicle about a block away near Glen Avenue and Eunice Street.

The getaway car hit a tree and fence before flipping on its side, community members said.

"The poor owners of that house!" said one local resident, writing on Nextdoor. "They just had a big branch fall on their house not too long ago. Best of luck to them and the car owner."

"I’ve got to say," replied another, "that huge tree probably saved their house from getting crushed by the car."

The pair fled on foot and managed to escape, community members and police said.

Two people told The Scanner that the culprits fled through their yards.

Police ultimately called a tow truck to help remove the crashed car from the scene.

The tow truck driver used a winch to drag and flip the car upright, a local resident said.

"We live about a block away and heard nothing," he told The Scanner by email.

Police told community members that the crashed car turned out to have been stolen.

One community member found discarded items in her yard that may have been related to the individuals who fled.

Another community member said he saw someone running in the area on Saturday morning, at "top speed, but not in a running outfit."

Read more about crime in Berkeley.

Early Sunday morning, the Berkeley Police Department confirmed that there had been an auto theft attempt in the 1100 block of Arch Street where the occupants crashed a car and and fled, managing to escape.

The Scanner will update this story if more details become available.

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