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Fence-hopping Prowling Suspect Nabbed After Chase

A fleeing suspected prowler jumped fences and fled through many backyards and Cougar Field when Albany students were present before being cornered and arrested by El Cerrito police this morning, Tuesday.

Police cars on the 300 block of Behrens Street in El Cerrito, where police captured a fleeing suspected prowler on Dec. 3, 2013 after a pursuit in which the suspect hopped numerous backyard fences. Photo credit: Charles Burress
Police cars on the 300 block of Behrens Street in El Cerrito, where police captured a fleeing suspected prowler on Dec. 3, 2013 after a pursuit in which the suspect hopped numerous backyard fences. Photo credit: Charles Burress
A police chase of a suspected prowler who jumped over numerous backyard fences before being cornered on Behrens Street brought some late-morning drama to the south part of El Cerrito today, Tuesday. 

The 21-year-old suspect from Oakland also fled briefly onto Cougar Field when Albany students were present, causing police to cordon off the baseball fields until the man hopped back over the fence into neighboring backyards, police said.

Police received a call about 10:45 a.m. of an attempted burglary of a residence in the 800 block of Pomona Avenue, said El Cerrito Police Lt. Paul Keith. The resident apparently was home at the time, and the suspect fled without taking anything, Keith said.

Shortly afterward, police received a report of a prowler at a house in the 400 block of Seaview Drive, Keith said.

An officer dispatched to the area in a patrol car spotted a male on a bicycle on Ashbury Avenue, just south of Fairmount Avenue. The cyclist matched the description of the suspect and clothing in both reports – which included a gray sweatshirt and gray sweatpants with bright red shorts showing above the waist of the low-worn pants, Keith said.

The officer did a u-turn intending to stop the bicyclist, but the man dropped the bike and took off running west through neighborhood backyards, Keith said.

"This person was very adept at jumping over fences," Keith said.

He hopped a number of fences as he ran through yards of homes on Behrens, Victoria and Coronado streets, Keith said.

At one point, a resident of Behrens encountered the man on the front porch and asked, "What are you doing?"

The fleeing man replied, "I'm hiding from my mom," according to Keith.

Police established a perimeter around the neighborhood, and at about 11:12 a.m., they cornered suspect in the front yard of a home in the 300 block of Behrens, Keith said.

The unarmed man, who surrendered without resistance, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police, trespassing and providing a false name to police, Keith said.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact El Cerrito police at 510-237-3233.

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