UPDATE: Attempted carjacking in UC Berkeley parking lot

The carjacking attempt comes days before the fall semester is set to begin and as thousands of students are returning to campus.

UPDATE: Attempted carjacking in UC Berkeley parking lot
The Witter Field parking lot is located behind California Memorial Stadium on Centennial Drive in Berkeley. (The UC Berkeley parking map's orientation faces east rather than north.) UC Berkeley

Update, 5:10 p.m. The University of California Police Department has just announced that what it described as an attempted robbery Monday afternoon was actually an attempted carjacking in a different parking lot than originally reported.

In a notice just before 5 p.m., UCPD said the attempted carjacking took place in the Witter Lot near the Cal Memorial Stadium — not in the Foothill parking lot behind the Greek Theatre.

"A UC Berkeley WarnMe was sent out earlier this afternoon for a violent crime reported to UCPD. Initially, the location of the crime was believed to be Foothill Lot. Upon further investigation, the actual location of the crime - what was believed to be an attempted carjacking - was Witter Lot, near the Cal Memorial Stadium. The investigation into this case is ongoing and anyone with information about the above crime is encourage to contact UCPD at 510-642-6760."

Original story: A person with a pistol in his pocket and a screwdriver in his hand tried to rob two people in a UC Berkeley parking lot Monday afternoon, police report.

The robbery attempt comes days before the fall semester is set to begin and as thousands of students are returning to campus.

The University of California Police Department announced the robbery in a WarnMe notice at 2:35 p.m.

The incident took place at 1 p.m. in the Foothill parking lot at 1317 Cyclotron Road, UCPD said.

The parking lot is just east of the Greek Theatre near Foothill Student Housing on the east side of campus.

Police said two people were sitting in a parked vehicle in the Foothill lot when someone came up to them and tried to break their car window with the screwdriver.

The victims were able to reverse and drive away to safety, police said.

UCPD did not say whether the individuals in the car were affiliated with campus.

UCPD also did not share any suspect information, including whether the culprit was an adult or a minor.

According to the notice, "Physical descriptions of a suspect, including race, are included in timely warnings only when they provide several details that might help distinguish the suspect’s appearance from the general population."

Read more about crime near UC Berkeley.

UCPD has not responded to requests for information.

No recent crime data were available from UCPD because UC Berkeley crime reports have not been updated since June in CrimeMapping.com, an official repository for local police data.

The Scanner has alerted UCPD to the problem.

There were five robberies listed from March 25 to June 20 on UC Berkeley property. (CrimeMapping is supposed to show the last six months of data but the reports stop in June.)

Robberies reported to BPD around the UC Berkeley campus from Feb. 15-Aug. 13, 2023. CrimeMapping

In the past six months, there have been at least 32 other robberies around campus, from Derby Street south of campus up to Hilgard Avenue on the north side, that were handled by the Berkeley Police Department, according to CrimeMapping.

Within 1 mile of campus, there have been 81 robberies reported to BPD over that period.

UCPD safety tips for the campus community

  • Travel with a trusted friend or in a group, take a taxi, or use free night safety services for the campus community, such as BearWalk and the night safety shuttle
  • If you need help, dial 911 or use a blue light emergency phone (located throughout the campus and identified by a blue light on the phone box or column)
  • Electronic devices are popular robbery targets: Be aware of surroundings and keep devices out of view to help reduce safety risks
  • Call law enforcement promptly: UCPD strongly encourages the reporting of criminal or suspicious activity in a timely manner
  • Read more safety tips from UC Berkeley

This story was updated with additional context after publication and will be updated if more information becomes available from UCPD. The story originally described the Foothill lot to the north of the Greek Theatre and Foothill housing, but it is actually to the east. The story has been corrected.

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