Rape, Armed Robbery, Woman Punched – Recent El Cerrito Crimes

A rape on Norvell Street, an armed robbery of a business and a woman punched in the face on San Pablo Avenue are among recent crimes in El Cerrito.

Recent crimes in El Cerrito include a rape on Norvell Street, an armed robbery of a business on San Pablo Avenue, a woman punched in the face on San Pablo and numerous burglaries, among others, according to police.

Rape on Norvell

El Cerrito crimes listed on the Web site crimereports.com for the two-week period Feb. 25 to March 9 show numerous crimes in the city during that period, including a "rape force" on Norvell Street at 5 p.m. on Feb. 25. No other information is listed about the rape.

Asked for further information by El Cerrito Patch, El Cerrito police Detective Corporal Gilbert Tang said Tuesday that the rape is under investigation and that no further information is available for release at this time.

Armed Robbery on San Pablo

Crimereports.com, which the police department uses as its official outlet for crime information in the city, also shows "robbery firearm" in the 11200 block of San Pablo Avenue at 3:35 p.m. on Feb. 27. No other information is listed.

Tang said Tuesday that a robber entered a business with a firearm, demanded cash and fled with cash. The name of the business and the amount taken is not being disclosed, Tang said. The robber was described as an African-American man in his early 30s, about six feet tall with a dark complexion, and wearing a black hoodie, black beanie, black pants and black shoes with white soles, Tang said.

The robber is still at large and police are working on leads as well as reviewing video tape, Tang said.

Battery with Injury on San Pablo

Crimereports.com also lists "battery: serious bodily inj" at Madison and San Pablo avenues at 11:23 a.m. on Feb. 29. No other information is listed.

Tang said the assault involved a man punching a woman in the face on the sidewalk on San Pablo. "The suspect wanted the victim to assist in committing some type of scam, and she didn't want to do it," Tang said. "And that was why he punched her."

The woman suffered a cut to her face, and the suspect, a 56-year-old Oakland man, was arrested at the scene by police and booked for investigation of battery with injury, Tang said. The intended scam may have been a "pigeon drop," in which criminals show or promise a large amount of cash to a victim, with the promise of sharing some of it with the victim if the victim first puts up some of his or her own money as a good-faith gesture, Tang said.

Anyone approached with such a proposition should contact police immediately, Tang said. 

Anyone who has information about crimes in the city or wishes to report any suspicious persons or activity is asked to contact police at 510-215-4400 during normal business hours or 510-237-3233 night and weekends.

Crimes from crimereports.com

Below are El Cerrito crimes reported as of March 11 on crimereports.com for the two weeks between Feb. 25 and March 9. The locations and descriptions are listed exactly as they appear. 

Sexual Offense

Feb. 25, 5 p.m., NORVELL ST, RAPE FORCE


Feb. 27, 3:35 p.m., 11200 Block SAN PABLO AVE, ROBBERY FIREARM

Family Offense

Feb. 27, 2:53 p.m., 1700 Block EASTSHORE BLVD, VIO ORD:PREVNT DOMES VIOL

March 3, 4:28 a.m., 11700 Block SAN PABLO AVE, INFLICT CRPL INJ SP/COHAB


Feb. 27, 2:55 p.m., 1700 Block EASTSHORE BLVD, BAT:SPOUSE/EX SP/DATE/ETC


March 3, 12:45 p.m., 6700 Block PORTOLA DR, BAT:SPOUSE/EX SP/DATE/ETC

March 6, 9:06 p.m., 1600 Block LIBERTY ST, BAT:SPOUSE/EX SP/DATE/ETC


Breaking and Entering


Feb. 27, 1:54 p.m., 7300 Block GANGES CT, BURGLARY NO FORCE




Feb. 28, 7:55 p.m., 11400 Block SAN PABLO AVE, BURGLARY NO FORCE

Feb. 29, 5:50 p.m., 1000 Block EL CERRITO PLZ, BURGLARY NO FORCE



Theft of Vehicle


Feb. 27, 11:59 p.m., 12500 Block SAN PABLO AVE, OUT RECOVERED VEHICLE

Feb. 28, 6:50 p.m., 10000 Block SAN PABLO AVE, TAKE VEH W/O OWNER CONSNT

March 1, 8:37 a.m., TAKE VEH W/O OWNER CONSNT

March 1, 1:53 p.m., 10600 Block SAN PABLO AVE, OUT RECOVERED VEHICLE

March 1, 10:44 p.m., 1500 Block CARLSON BLVD, OUT RECOVERED VEHICLE

March 1, 11:31 p.m., 5500 Block MACDONALD AVE, TAKE VEH W/O OWNER CONSNT

March 2, 11:51 a.m., 1800 Block KEY BLVD, OUT RECOVERED VEHICLE

March 4, 2:17 p.m., 800 Block S 53RD ST, TAKE VEH W/O OWNER CONSNT

March 4, 9:32 p.m., 2300 Block TULARE AVE, TAKE VEH W/O OWNER CONSNT

March 7, 7:37 a.m., 5500 Block MACDONALD AVE, TAKE VEH W/O OWNER CONSNT



March 1, 8:45 a.m., 1100 Block NAVELLIER ST, G/THFT:$/LABOR/PROP $400+

March 3, 11:15 a.m., 7700 Block BARON CT, MIS - USE OTHER'S ID:CREDIT/ETC

March 8, 6:50 p.m., 1000 Block EL CERRITO PLZ, PETTY THEFT W/PRIORS UNDER $50

Missing Person

March 3, 2:20 p.m., 6500 Block GLADYS AVE, MISSING PERSON

Crime reports in nearby cities

Several nearby police agencies provide crime reports on their Web sites and to the local press. Here are examples from other towns served by Patch:

For email alerts on future stories about El Cerrito police or crimes in the city, click the "Keep me posted" button below.

Evelyn B March 14, 2012 at 05:26 PM
The ECPD won't even disclose WHERE on Norvell this rape took place? As a resident in the area, I find that very disturbing. I would like to at least know if it occurred in an area that I pass through regularly. I know we should be careful and aware of our surroundings wherever we are, but shouldn't the public at least be informed of where violent crimes are occurring?
Lowlay March 14, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Thanks Cynthia for encouraging everyone who was a victim to seek help. I myself was assaulted recently in a recent home invasion in El Cerrito. I have suffered greatly from post traumatic stress and have looked into getting counseling. I've also learned that there is a government funded program for victims of crime ("V.O.C") where you can get free counseling. An invaluable source for anyone suffering who cannot afford it. So to those of you who are reading this and have been a victim in a crime and are suffering but cannot afford counseling, please contact your District Attorney's office for more information. I myself am considering taking a self defense course. I've heard amazing things about IMPACT. I've heard it has changed many women's lives. Check out their website: http://www.impactbayarea.org/
Paul D March 14, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Nice ad.
John Stashik March 14, 2012 at 07:18 PM
El Cerrito's Old West Gun Room could be a useful source of information for defending yourself against criminals. Especially in a home invasion. The owner can provide sources of firearms training along with helping choose a proper weapon.
Kathy A. March 14, 2012 at 08:09 PM
john -- talk about missing the point. for one thing, guns aren't the answer; they are part of the problem. i have lost people to guns; nearly lost a friend at a very early age when his best friend shot him accidentally; and i have seen way too much of the end results of guns. one of our physicians and her two daughters were killed by her husband, who then killed himself -- with a gun obtained from the Old West Gun Room. the husband did not think they were doing well enough financially. i do not think more guns make us safer. do not think they are the answer to all problems. do not think i could live with myself if i shot the wrong person, or if a gun belonging to me was used by someone else. i was actually held up at gunpoint - -these kids wanted my car, and the gun was pointed in the direction of my infant daughter. this was in 1990, just a block from el cerrito high school. i gave them my keys! it turned out they could not drive a stick shift, so they ran off. also turns out they had a pellet gun. that incident was traumatic enough without a shootout.
Kathy A. March 14, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Charles Burress (Editor) March 14, 2012 at 11:41 PM
After this article was published, I heard from police Detective Sgt. Scott Cliatt about the rape case. He said the police department "doesn’t have any information regarding the specific location of where the crime occurred. Additionally one of our concerns when investigating a sexual assault is adherence to the State of California’s Constitution, specifically Article 1, Section 28 (8)(4) otherwise known as Marcy’s law. Therefore we cannot release any information that may lead to the disclosure of a victim’s information. This case does not appear to be a random act of violence. Other than that, the Police Department doesn’t have any further comment except to say that we will investigate this case with a high level of commitment."
Eric Bordax March 14, 2012 at 11:59 PM
We need to arm ourselves and refuse to be victims.
Drew Reynolds March 15, 2012 at 04:42 AM
So you're basically saying that when someone invades my home, I go get my gun and unload a clip of ammo at the perp, and problem solved, right? So pointing a gun at the perp won't make him panic and try to kill me, instead of just stealing my laptop and leaving? Those bullets, or the ones fired by the perp definitely won't hit my wife in the next room or my neighbor's kid, right? So if we were all armed, and we all started shooting at some perp, no-one could possibly hit any unintended targets and everyone coming on the scene would be able to clearly differentiate between the perp(s), the victim(s), and other armed civilian defenders. What could possibly go wrong?
Larry Craighill March 15, 2012 at 05:33 AM
If someone pointed a gun at me and asked for my wallet, I wouldn't have to think very hard about what is most important to me in my life. I have a family that needs me, and the thief will have little to show for his efforts. If I had a gun, that thief would be much more likely to pull the trigger. Guns give people the feeling they are somehow safer, but they might as well just put a bullseye on themselves. The worst thing about being a crime victim is the feeling of humiliation and helplessness. I've been there. The material loss is not what eats at you. But try to imagine the consequences of all that can go wrong when two armed people face off, and think of the things in life that mean the most to you. I can take the loss of my wallet and dignity much more easily than my wife or daughter could take the loss of their husband or father.
Cynthia W. Lubow, MS, MFT March 15, 2012 at 05:31 PM
You're right Paul; that was an ad. I want to get the word out to as many people as possible about EMDR, because I hear stories like Kathy's and Lowlay's every day in my office, and I know there are so many more that need help too. According to research, 90% of people who get EMDR for PTSD completely resolve their symptoms--PTSD should be nearly non-existant. Lowlay, you're right about VOC, and victims and witnesses of crimes can apply through their website: http://www.vcgcb.ca.gov/. About a year ago, I was driving through Richmond to Kaiser when I got caught in crossfire and three bullets hit my car. The Richmond police gave me a card with the VOC information on it--I'm not sure if the ECPD does this, but I hope so. They don't pay much, so not all therapists are willing to work with them, but I have and they are an invaluable resource. I also think a self defense course is a great idea. I have seen the ECPD do an outstanding job over and over just in my personal experience btw. They caught the guy who hit my car while it was parked; they caught the kids who tried to break into my house; they stopped a stalker; they supervised the area behind the plaza for months after a woman got raped there; they even helped me look for my keys once when I lost them on my way home from the office! I could go on.... I'm a big fan of the ECPD!
Eric Bordax March 16, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Hey uh, Drew... have you ever heard of a straw man argument? Because that sure sounded like one to me!
Kathy A. March 17, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Eric -- it is not a "straw man" to raise valid points. There are a good many crimes where someone brandishes a gun for effect, but never went in meaning to kill -- my own experience with the failed carjacking is one -- but people panic and things go wrong when guns are involved. What exactly do you think is the most likely outcome if a kid has a gun, only meaning to scare, and someone else finds their gun and starts shooting? This can happen in a poor neighborhood, or it can happen in your house, but both places there is likely to be a bunch of shooting. Can't take bullets back. Even the misdirected ones, or the accidental ones. There are many instances when someone is hit by a stray bullet, or a misplaced bullet -- this happens all the time, and one need only skim the news to find examples. It is also very common for firearms to be discharged by accident, to be used in suicides, or to be stolen.
Kathy A. March 17, 2012 at 12:50 AM
When these kids tried to steal my car -- I couldn't tell enough to know they had a pellet gun. I was thinking it was small, could be a .22 caliber -- and I knew of a case where somebody killed his wife in the shower with a .22. Mostly I was thinking that the gun was near my baby, and i did not care in the least about the car. Even if I'd known it was a pellet gun -- that could have killed or seriously hurt my baby. And also my husband, who was holding our baby, but I thought she was in a worse position, being tiny. It took about all I had to say loudly that I was reaching in my purse and getting my keys out, please point the gun away, I was giving them the keys. I still think that was the best response.
Eric Bordax March 17, 2012 at 04:42 AM
@Kathy Yes, it's a straw man argument to discredit an exaggerated misrepresentation of what someone else said. You can make a valid point without appealing to wild speculation about what would happen if people had guns. Also, I fixed your reply for you: "Eric -- it is not a "straw man" to raise valid points. There are a good many crimes where someone brandishes a gun for effect, but never went in meaning to kill [citation needed] -- my own experience with the failed carjacking is one -- but people panic and things go wrong when guns are involved. What exactly do you think is the most likely outcome if a kid has a gun, only meaning to scare, and someone else finds their gun and starts shooting? This can happen in a poor neighborhood, or it can happen in your house, but both places there is likely to be a bunch of shooting [citation needed]. Can't take bullets back. Even the misdirected ones, or the accidental ones. There are many instances when someone is hit by a stray bullet, or a misplaced bullet -- this happens all the time, and one need only skim the news to find examples [citation needed]. It is also very common for firearms to be discharged by accident, to be used in suicides, or to be stolen [citation needed]."
Paul D March 17, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Kathy, you can never discuss these issues with gun nuts. Its why they're called nuts in the first place. Just pray he's not your neighbor when he starts blasting away at shadows.
Eric Bordax March 17, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Which one of us is a gun nut, again?
Kathy A. March 17, 2012 at 07:27 PM
I know not everybody shares my views about guns; I hate them, and other people do not. But I think it is important to talk about pros and cons. They are called deadly weapons for a reason, after all. Humans being only human, things can and do go wrong. ECPD's website has suggestions about safety matters, such as avoiding residential burglaries. Acquiring a gun is not one of the suggestions on those pages. I'm not saying ECPD opposes gun ownership -- the just does not mention guns -- but their recommendations are along the lines of making your home harder to get into, being watchful in your neighborhood, calling police if something suspicious is happening. I have not seen ECPD suggesting guns in articles about recent crimes, either. I don't have time for a full-scale research project, but wanted to address a few of Eric's apparent concerns. (And note that nobody, including Eric, has cited evidence that having a gun at the ready either prevents crimes, or contains assurance that others will not be hit by bullets.) First is a website about kids and guns. The information is dated, with statistics from CDC through 2005 cited -- I trust that is a reliable source -- but it shows that a good many kids are killed and injured by firearms, and that as of the time the data was collected, a lot of kids lived in homes with access to firearms. http://www.kidsandguns.org/study/fact_file.asp
Kathy A. March 17, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Under California law, someone who shoots and kills -- thinking they were acting in self-defense, but the facts do not support self-defense -- can be convicted of manslaughter (not murder). This is called "imperfect self-defense." See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperfect_self-defense I'm not going to do the legal research for you, but a person relying on a gun for self-defense ought to think twice before pulling the trigger. Here is a pretty chilling illustration of how things can go wrong: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/family-of-slain-black-florida-teen-devastated-after-listening-to-911-call/2012/03/16/gIQABGdWHS_story.html?hpid=z3 A neighborhood watch person armed with a gun decided that a kid walking down the street looked suspicious. He called 911, against their advice followed the kid, fought the kid, and shot him dead. The African-american boy was unarmed; he had gone to the store to buy candy, and was walking home in his own neighborhood. Several neighbors called 911, hearing the assault and then the shooting. The neighborhood watch guy claims self-defense.
Kathy A. March 17, 2012 at 07:47 PM
In California, the felony murder rule allows conviction for first-degree murder even without an intent to kill, if a killing happens in the course of a felony like burglary or robbery. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_murder_rule_%28California%29 Again, I won't do legal research for you, but there are many many crimes where the felony murder rule is applied -- because the evidence does not show an intent to kill. Instead, something went wrong. It could be panic; it could be some kind of accident. Then, there is also the doctrine of transferred intent. If a person means to kill someone, and ends up hitting someone else -- that person's mental state "transfers" to the actual victim. See, http://defensewiki.ibj.org/index.php/Transferred_Intent The reason for this rule is that bullets go astray with alarming frequency.
Kathy A. March 17, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Sorry for being long-winded. As mentioned, I know people have different views on firearms for self-protection. If you feel you need one, please be sure that you are well-trained. Please keep your weapon inaccessible to children, and teach them that guns kill. Please be sure that you are in imminent danger of extreme harm before shooting, and that nobody will be caught by a misplaced bullet. Deadly force is only 100% accurate in action dramas. Your neighbor, Kathy
John Stashik March 18, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Was not the recently appended EC home invasion prep a parolee? Into the system, then out, to do more crime. With losers like that on the streets, it makes one think twice about protecting themselves. But when said loser is coming through the front door it seems to me your best ally would be a loaded shotgun. Citizens do have the right to defend themselves in such circumstances. Asking a criminal to wait for you to call the cops usually does not work. These days there are, sadly to say, people who have no problem killing you for five cents, gang ritual, or to ensure you are not a witness. Just like video games. Look at the case of a Berkeley man killed by a trespasser. Or a man in Oakland, killed by burglars. Kids shot for standing on a public street. Our urban area is dangerous. That's why police are armed and when they shoot, they shot to kill--or be killed. I'm not saying to arm yourself with a firearm. But it is one option for protecting yourself assuming one practices and is well trained. Tasers, mace, knives, baseball bats could be alternatives. It is worth consideration in our violent society where felons are routinely released to prey on decent citizens again and again.


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