Woman honks horn to stave off thief at Berkeley Bowl West

Four other incidents, where women's bags were taken from their cars as they looked on, have been reported in Berkeley since Friday.

Woman honks horn to stave off thief at Berkeley Bowl West
Berkeley Bowl West at 920 Heinz Ave. Google Street View

Berkeley police are investigating an attempted window smash while a woman was sitting in her car at Berkeley Bowl West on Tuesday morning.

The incident took place at 11:20 a.m. outside the grocery store, which is located at 920 Heinz Ave.

Police said two people, both wearing ski masks, pulled up to the woman's car in a black sedan.

One of those individuals "tried to use a window punch" to break into the woman's car, Berkeley police said.

The woman honked her horn, scaring off the pair, who drove away.

Details were limited because the report was not complete, authorities said.

Tuesday's report follows at least four incidents of people stealing purses from women's cars while they were at Berkeley gas stations in recent days.

Black sedans were involved in at least some of those crimes.

UPDATE: Bags snatched from cars at 4 Berkeley gas stations
In each incident, the culprit opened a woman’s car door and grabbed her purse, police said.

On Friday at noon, a woman had her purse taken from her car while she was pumping gas at the 76 gas station at Solano and Colusa avenues.

On Saturday at 8:20 a.m., a woman was pumping gas at the Shell station at University Avenue and Bonar Street when someone stole her backpack out of her car.

On Sunday at about 1:40 p.m., a woman had stopped at the gas station at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Hearst Way when a stranger opened her car door and grabbed her purse.

About 20 minutes later, a thief opened a woman's car door at Chevron, at 2996 Telegraph Ave. (at Ashby Avenue), and took her purse.

The cases remain under investigation and police are working to determine whether they may be related.

The Scanner will update this story if additional information becomes available.

Update, 8:40 p.m. Berkeley police released the following video of one of the incidents from the weekend.

They also said there had been a similar incident at Starbucks, at 1799 Solano Ave., on Sunday at 1:20 p.m.

In that case, the culprits "drove up to where a woman had been sitting" outside "and stole her purse when she got up to walk to the trashcan," which was about 50 feet away.

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