More than 50 cars burglarized in West Berkeley overnight

Auto break-ins appear to be experiencing a surge in Berkeley this week.

More than 50 cars burglarized in West Berkeley overnight
Surveillance footage from the auto burglary crew working on Seventh Street. Scanner Insider

Police are investigating more than 50 car break-ins that took place overnight in West Berkeley — and more reports may be yet to come.

On Friday morning, the Berkeley Police Department was flooded with calls about auto burglaries in the neighborhood, said Officer Jessica Perry, BPD spokeswoman.

The 2000 block of Fourth Street saw more than two dozen car break-ins, with another 11 cars hit in the 1000 block of Jones Street and nine cars burglarized in the 1400 block of Seventh Street, BPD said.

Nest videos shared with The Scanner by a community member who asked to remain anonymous showed at least five people in hooded sweatshirts getting out of a white minivan before breaking into car after car on Seventh Street shortly after midnight Friday.

The group was nearly silent and left in less than three minutes.

Community members said there were more auto burglaries in the area of Sixth and Addison streets but The Scanner was unable to confirm that as of publication time.

Another community member shared video on X of several broken car windows at the Aquatic apartment complex parking lot on Fourth Street.

Perry told The Scanner that, while exact times were unavailable, the auto break-ins took place overnight Thursday and into Friday morning.

"They were just breaking the windows and prowling through the cars and gloveboxes to get what they can get," she said.

The police investigation is ongoing, with officers still reviewing video and other evidence to find out what happened.

Perry urged motorists not to leave any personal identifying information in their cars, including car registration, which includes a home address.

23 auto break-ins reported at North Berkeley BART
Not counting the recent BART auto burglaries, car break-ins are up 18% in Berkeley this year compared to last year.

Auto burglaries up steeply in Berkeley this year

Green lines mark several of the blocks where cars were burglarized in Berkeley between Thursday night and Friday morning. Google Maps/Aipsasiamedia

Auto break-ins appear to be experiencing a surge in Berkeley this week.

On Thursday, BART Police investigated more than 20 auto break-ins at the North Berkeley BART station that morning.

Even before the surge, car break-ins were up 18% in Berkeley as of Wednesday, the most recent data available from BPD, compared to the same period last year.

There were 159 auto break-ins reported in Berkeley as of Wednesday compared to 135 last year.

In a social media post Friday, BPD shared auto burglary safety tips for motorists.

  • Park in a well-lit, secure area when possible
  • Lock your vehicle and roll up the windows. If you have an alarm, set it.
  • Leave nothing of value in the vehicle
  • Remove all personal identifying information from the car: Consider taking photographs of insurance cards and DMV registration rather than leaving them in the glove box.
  • If you must leave items in the car, store them out of sight. Put items in the trunk before your arrival so no one sees you do it.
  • Hide charging cords: Someone may break in just to see if devices are attached.
  • If you must leave devices in the car, turn off Bluetooth and WiFi, put devices in airplane mode or turn them off completely to avoid detection.

BPD asked anyone with information about the recent auto burglaries to make a report via the BPD non-emergency line at 510-981-5900.

Readers asked us about this incident, which resulted in this report. Have questions about crime in Berkeley? Alert Aipsasiamedia.