Crime report data in Emeryville continued its gradual trend upward in 2023 according to data provided by the Emeryville Police Department. All told, violent crimes experienced a 13% increase from last year and property crimes saw a 15% increase combining for a 14% total increase.
The 213 crimes reported per month average during the year are still well below the pre-pandemic high of 244 crimes reported per month from 2019. These monthly averages dropped to about 142 per month in 2020, nudged up to about 174 per month in 2021 and 185 in 2022.
A large part of the 2019 to 2023 decline can be accounted for by a dramatic reduction in auto burglaries which peaked in 2019 averaging 132 per month. In 2023, this category was closer to 51 per month.
Emeryville saw its first Homicide in six years during 2023. The city also saw a troubling surge in robberies including an alert being issued about ATM Robbery’s on San Pablo Avenue. Despite this effort, a patron was shot and injured on July 16 at the Bank of America branch.
Probably the biggest Public Safety story of 2023 was the ”Mall Brawl” at Bay Street back on August 27 where 100’s of teens on hand for “National Cinema Day” engaged in a near riot.
Violent Crimes Reported up 13%
The 349 violent crimes reported by the EPD are the highest totals since our publication began charting these over a decade ago (eclipsing the 334 reported in 2019).
These totals were buoyed by a 64% increase in robberies (115 versus only 70 in 2022).
Property Crimes Reported up 15%
Property crimes in Emeryville rose by 15% led by a massive surge in auto thefts. The city’s 422 totals represent a 65% increase from last year and by far exceed the highest annual totals on record. Grand thefts and petty thefts were up 15% and 16% respectively.
Residential burglaries experienced the steepest drop from last year with a 36% decrease.
Neighboring Cities Seeing Similar Surge
Comparing Emeryville to neighboring cities, crime in San Francisco fell 7% in 2023 compared to the prior year. Crime in Berkeley was up significantly in 2023 with a more comprehensive breakdown of these numbers published on The Berkeley Scanner.
Overall crime in Oakland went up 17% from 2022 with violent crime up a concerning 21%. Crime was up in nearly every statistical category tracked by the OPD leading some in the city to call for a state of emergency.
It’s unclear what the impact of Oakland’s under-resourced police force is having on Emeryville. Emeryville dedicates over one-third of its budget toward policing. EPD salaries currently represent 46% of the city-wide staffing salaries. Residents also approved Measure F in 2020 raising the local sales tax to provide additional revenue to the EPD and other services.
Emeryville City Council recently voted in favor of deploying 16 Automatic License Plate Recognition cameras (ALPRs). Once installed, it will be interesting to determine if having these are making a significant impact on crime categories associated with vehicles.
The EPD is also rolling out a new crime mapping system that promises to provide more timely data. Admittedly, the system is buggy and not capturing all the data. “The RMS (Record Management System) is new and we are still working out some bugs,” according to Emeryville Police Chief Jeff Jennings.
Beginning with the October report, the EPD has paired down the 10 districts it divides crime into 3 “beats” shown in the map above. You might also notice that the individual crime narratives have been dramatically thinned down. “This was intensive and was not automated,” Jennings noted.
Jennings came on board in 2021 following Jennifer Tejada’s retirement. It’s tough to evaluate how much a change in Police Chiefs has had on crime levels and how much has to do with other factors like the socioeconomic impacts of pandemic and a shift to remote work.
REPORTING DISTRICT BOUNDARIES
The City of Emeryville is divided into the following ten geographical areas:
1). San Pablo Avenue
2). North Emeryville
3). Emery Bay
6). Artist Colony
7). San Pablo Avenue – South
9). East Bay bridge (East)
10). East Bay bridge (West)
11). Outside of City Limits
The reporting district matrix lists the category and number of crimes reported by district. The descriptions below are “highlights” and are not provided for every crime reported.
June 2023 Highlights
2307-2096 Chevy’s Restaurant, 1890 Powell St., 21:09 hours – An Officer located a stolen motorcycle and a subject returned to the bike. The Officer attempted to detain the subject who pulled away and kicked the officer. The Officer used a taser which had limited effect, and the subject swatted the taser away. The Officer tased the subject again at close range, which had limited effect due to the probe spread and followed up with re-energize stuns to complete NMI (Neuromuscular Incapacitation). The subject was subsequently arrested and transported to Alameda County Hospital, then to Santa Rita Jail. The motorcycle was towed per the owner’s request.
2307-2268 Target 1555 40th St., 1854 hours – An officer made a traffic enforcement stop on a driver for Vehicle Code violations. The driver was unlicensed, and the vehicle registration was expired. The vehicle was towed, and the occupants were released. While completing an inventory search on the vehicle, officers located two loaded pistols concealed in the rear passenger seat. The suspects were gone but had already been identified. A report was taken, and out of custody Probable Cause Declarations were submitted.
August 2023 Highlights
2308-0485 Hong Kong East Ocean, 3199 Powell Street – Officers responded to location for an attempted robbery report. Victims were leaving Hong Kong East Ocean when they were approached by a male riding in a black Cadillac with two other males. The suspect attempted to grab the Victim’s purse, but the victim’s husband fought the suspect and pushed him back into the car. The victim received a minor abrasion to her chin and refused medical treatment.
2308-2458 5614 Bay Street – Approximately 300+ juveniles met up at the Bay Street Mall where several fights erupted. Mutual assistance was requested, Berkeley Police Department and California Highway Patrol responded. One juvenile was arrested for simple assault. 2308-2464 5602 Bay St., a juvenile victim approached officers and reported that she had been stabbed in front of the Sonesta Hotel. Emergency medical was summoned and treated the juvenile for non-life-threatening injuries. The juvenile was transported to a local hospital. 2308-2471 5600 Bay St., Officers responded to shots fired near the AMC ticket booth. It was determined, the party who was detained tackled the suspect with the firearm to take the gun from him. While they were wrestling for the gun, one round was fired. No one was injured. OPD, APD, UCBPD, ACSO, BPD, and CHP assisted in clearing the Mall the City.
September 2023 Highlights
2309-3031 Powell and Anchor Dr.; 0230 hours – Officer noticed a vehicle parked in crosswalk with false tags, vehicle registered in 2017. Officers had to de-escalate with driver who did not want officers to tow the vehicle. During an inventory search of the vehicle, a firearm and narcotics were found. The vehicle was towed, and the subject was arrested and transported to Santa Rita Jail.
2309-3043 3 Captain Dr. – Officers responded to an armed carjacking that had just occurred. The victim parked her vehicle, a Mercedes, in the garage and two suspects wearing ski masks ran up to her from a silver sedan with no plates. The suspects demanded car keys and brandished a firearm. The suspects fled in her vehicle along with the suspect vehicle.
2309-3013 Oaks Card Club 4097 San Pablo Ave – The Oaks Club manager reported a customer was followed by suspects from Bank of America to the Oaks. They believed the suspects were attempting to rob the victim. The suspects were wearing ski masks and were seen with a silver Infiniti car that was parked in front of IHOP. An A/C Transit driver honked their horn and scared off the suspects. The A/C Transit driver told the Reporting Party one of the suspects had a gun. The officer attempted to locate the A/C Transit driver but was unable to get a return call from two possible A/C Transit drivers. The officer obtained video of the suspects from the Oaks.
2309-1238 4349 San Pablo Ave. 1521 hours – A Wingstop employee called to report a shooting in the parking lot of the old CVS store. There were reports of two armed suspects fleeing the scene in a silver Lexus SUV e/b on 43rd St. An additional witness flagged down a responding officer to report a victim was pistol whipped at the location. Officers arrived on scene and located the crime scene. The scene was secured and processed for evidence. The victim was not located, and hospitals reported no victims of GSWs or assaults. Officers canvassed the area for more witnesses and video evidence. One witness stated he saw one subject with an “AK” and another with a pistol, both subjects were pointing the guns at another person. The victim later came to the Police Department to report he was robbed of his necklace. The victim provided a statement and photographs of his injuries were taken. The victim was pistol whipped and the gun went off. The victim suffered a laceration to his head.
October 2023 Highlights
2310-0067 0324 hours – Commercial Burglary, Bank Club 3900 San Pablo; Officers responded to the location after a citizen reported a silver sedan parked in front with two men trying to break into the bar. Officers arrived and located a silver Cadilac sedan fleeing the area. An officer followed the vehicle and tried to get close to initiate a stop, but the vehicle was driving recklessly on city streets and took off. The business door was pried open, but no entry was made.
2310-0075 0452 hours, Commercial Burglary – Nike Style 5636 Bay St; Officers responded to the location after a report that several juveniles tried to ram a Toyota Tacoma through the Nike Store. The suspects were still on scene. Officers arrived and located the unoccupied Tacoma. The suspects fled in other waiting vehicles that were circling the area. Bay Street Security advised their cameras did not record anything, but they saw the caravan of vehicles at the location prior to the Tacoma ramming the store. The Tacoma is registered out of San Leandro, and it had a shattered rear passenger window. The vehicle was towed to Specialty Towing.
2310-0156 2013 hours, Warrant Arrest/Firearm Violation, Target 1555 40th St – An officer conducted a suspicious vehicle check at the location. A name check revealed the driver had a felony warrant out of Sacramento PD, which was confirmed. The vehicle inventory was searched, which revealed a firearm. The firearm was confiscated, and the suspect was transported to Santa Rita Jail.
2310-0245 0403 hours, Burglary 5684 Bay St – Officers responded to the location after CCTV monitoring service advised of two suspects trying car door handles and going through packages in the mailroom. Officers arrived and detained the two suspects who were arrested for burglary and transported to Santa Rita Jail.
2310-0331 1402 hours, Target 1555 40th St – officers responded code 3 to the store for a report of a subject who was overdosing. The first officer arrived on scene and requested additional officers and medical. The subject was suffering from signs of an overdose, non-responsive and respiratory problems. The officer administered a dose of Narcan. A large crowd gathered around the subject and additional officers arrived on scene to assist with the crowd. Additional doses of Narcan were administered and officers started to administer first aid. Fire arrived on scene and took over administering first aid to the subject. The subject became alert, and he was transported by Falck to Summit Hospital.
November 2023 Highlights
2311-0094 2132 hours, Carjacking, in the 1027 block of 47th St. – The victim and passenger were carjacked by (6) male juveniles, (2) were armed with guns. At approximately 0100 hours, Brentwood PD located the victim vehicle and CHP pursued the vehicle at 120 MPH on the freeway. The driver was apprehended in Berkeley, CA. The driver was 15 years old with a BB gun and matched the suspect’s description. The juvenile was transported to Juvenile Hall.
2311-0127 2352 hours, Vehicle Pursuit, San Pablo Ave & 40th St. – An officer was conducting a security check of the Bank of America, and a license plate check on a white Infiniti M37 revealed it was an “Armed and Dangerous” stolen vehicle. Officers attempted a vehicle stop on the Infiniti and it fled from the officers. Officers pursued the Infiniti onto eastbound I-580 Freeway, and into the City of Oakland. Officers cancelled the pursuit after they lost sight of the Infiniti. OPD and CHP were notified of the incident.
2311-0128, 0026 hours, Gun Arrest, 47th St. at San Pablo Ave. – An officer conducted a traffic enforcement stop at the listed location. The passenger made furtive movements while the officer was approaching the vehicle. A probable cause search of the vehicle revealed an unregistered .40 Cal handgun with a 30-round magazine loaded in the weapon. The magazine was loaded with 19 live rounds. The passenger was arrested and transported to Santa Rita Jail. The driver submitted to a Field Sobriety Test, which she completed as instructed and was released on the scene.
December 2023 Highlights
2312-0205 0225 hours, Commercial Burglary, Nike Store 5636 Bay St. – Officers responded to the location for a report of a vehicle rammed into the business, suspects stealing items, and fleeing in a gray Dodge. Officers arrived and the suspects were still on scene. The suspects jumped into a waiting gray Dodge Charger and fled south on Shellmound St., as officers pursued. A blue Hyundai was left at the scene with a punched ignition and shattered passenger window. The front doors to the business had been damaged and forced open and the store had been ransacked of clothes. Officers terminated the pursuit at 880 on ramp. The Nike doors were temporarily secured until a person responsible arrived. The blue Hyundai was towed for blocking the roadway, as the registered owner
was not able to be contacted for a stolen vehicle report.
2312-0309 0121 hours – Theft of tires & Injury Accident officer involved. A suspect was seen stealing tires off a vehicle near 61ST and Hollis. An Officer located a possible suspect vehicle and collided with an uninvolved motorist. The Officer and motorist were taken to the hospital for medical treatment. Both vehicles had major damage. The Officer was released from hospital. The motorist was transported to the hospital for complaints of pain. There were two other reports regarding thefts of rims and tires during December.