Authorities are looking for a robbery crew that may be linked to up to a dozen crimes in Berkeley and Oakland.
Early Monday morning, Berkeley police chased the group into an Oakland park and searched for the culprits with the help of a CHP helicopter, police said. But they have so far managed to evade capture.
The crew appears to have a particular approach, the Berkeley Police Department said, violently assaulting victims before robbing them.
In one of the incidents, a person was cut with a knife. In other incidents, people are thrown down, punched and kicked before being given a chance to comply, according to police.
In a typical robbery, the suspects approach a victim and demand property first.
The most recent robbery that seems to be linked to the crew took place Sunday around 8 p.m. at Russell and Ellsworth streets, according to BPD.
The victim was approached by several strangers, thrown against a fence, hit in the head and kicked while he was on the ground, Berkeley police said.
Shortly before or after the Berkeley robbery, a similar incident happened at Telegraph and Alcatraz avenues, a few blocks over the border into Oakland.
Several hours later, Monday shortly before 1 a.m., a Berkeley police officer spotted the crew in a vehicle, but the driver fled at a high rate of speed and was able to escape.
About 35 minutes later, another Berkeley police officer spotted the group around the Berkeley-Oakland border.
The driver got onto the freeway and tried to escape, reportedly going 100 mph, as the officer followed him to Oakland, BPD said.
The pursuit ended at Dimond Park in Oakland where two people jumped out of the car and the driver was able to speed off.
Additional Berkeley police officers responded to Dimond Park, along with a California Highway Patrol helicopter, to search the area.
Despite a nearly hour-long search of the park and nearby properties, police were unable to find the people who fled.
BPD said the search was within its pursuit policy because it involved violent criminals linked to a series of robberies where victims have been seriously injured.
There have been at least 23 robberies in Berkeley in February, according to CrimeMapping.com, a repository for local police data.
Read more about robberies in Berkeley in past Berkeley Scanner coverage.