Nearly two months after a commercial burglary on Gilman Street where $300,000 in "ancient coins, custom jewelry and precious metal" were stolen, Berkeley property crimes detectives say they recovered about one-third of the take in an RV parked just a block from the crime scene.
Police say a group of homeless individuals — all but one of whom were on probation — stole the goods during repeat trips to Erez Ancient Coin Jewelry near Gilman and Fourth Street on Feb. 25.
Four members of the five-person crew have now been charged with commercial burglary in connection with the caper, according to court papers reviewed this week by The Berkeley Scanner.
Berkeley police say the crime was captured on high-definition video surveillance and that investigators quickly recognized members of the group "from prior contacts, arrests and interviews."
They were identified as Sofia Hargrove, Don Hayag, Larry Jefferson and Yossuf Callen, according to court papers.
The fifth individual, Alexander Medrano, was arrested by the Richmond Police Department in relation to a vehicle theft from Berkeley Yamaha, at 735 Gilman St., one day after the Erez burglary.
After his arrest, Medrano identified himself in the Erez surveillance footage and fingered the four other members of the group as well, authorities said.
BPD then sought a warrant to search an RV belonging to Hargrove that was parked at Camelia and Fourth streets, just a block from the jewelry shop, BPD said.
On April 13, BPD arrested Hargove and Jefferson inside the RV. Officers found Hayag nearby and arrested him, too, authorities wrote.
When investigators searched the RV, they found about $100,000 in stolen coins as well as evidence of ID theft — including checks, tax returns, passports and identification — belonging to three people, police wrote.
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BPD arrested Callen on April 26 shortly after noon. (The details of his arrest were not immediately available.)
On April 28, the Alameda County district attorney's office charged Hargove, Jefferson, Hayag and Callen with commercial burglary.
Hargrove also was charged with identity theft and receiving $100,000 worth of stolen coins. Both are felonies.
Hargrove, 32, has prior felony convictions for identity theft and burglary, one of which is a strike, according to charging papers.
She is scheduled for a sentencing hearing June 1, according to court records, and is no longer in custody despite bail of $100,000.
Jefferson, 47, has five felony convictions related to gun possession by a felon, drug sales and stolen goods, according to charging papers.
He is being held on $15,000 bail and is also scheduled to be sentenced June 1.
Hayag, 42, has seven felony convictions related to gun possession by a felon, drug sales, stolen goods and fleeing from police, charging documents allege.
He is being held on $50,000 bail and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Wednesday.
Callen, 49, has 36 cases listed in Alameda County Superior Court dating back to 1992, many of which relate to drugs and stolen goods including burglary, according to court records online.
He is being held on $10,000 bail and is also scheduled for a pretrial hearing Wednesday.
Medrano appears to be facing charges in Contra Costa County in connection with a different felony case stemming from an incident in March, according to court records online.
His booking photograph was not immediately available.
In a brief statement this week, BPD said the recovered property from the RV had been "returned to its rightful owner."
There have already been at least 184 commercial burglaries reported in Berkeley so far this year, up from 139 at this time in 2022, according to BPD's Transparency Hub.