A man who had been wanted in connection with several robberies in Berkeley this year is now facing new charges after a car theft last week, according to authorities and court papers.
In September, Dylan McMillian of Oakland had been charged with three Berkeley robberies — but police had been unable to find him, so he had never been arrested in relation to those crimes.
That changed Thursday.
Last week, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, multiple individuals mugged an 80-year-old Berkeley woman and her adult niece in the Claremont neighborhood. Individuals then went to her house hours later and stole her Honda, Berkeley police said previously.
(The Scanner was the first to report that story, which other media later picked up.)
ACSO: Stolen car leads to suspect's arrest
The stolen Honda was then spotted Thursday outside Bayfair shopping mall in San Leandro, which ultimately led to McMillian's arrest, authorities told The Scanner this week.
According to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office (ACSO), deputies assigned to the Eden Township Substation in San Leandro had been alerted about the stolen Honda at about 4:40 p.m. Thursday.
Authorities initially found the Honda unoccupied in the mall parking lot.
Three men who left the mall then got into the stolen Honda, with McMillian behind the wheel, authorities said.
When detectives tried to stop the trio, the men fled toward I-580. A sheriff's office airplane followed them to West Oakland, "where they parked the car and began to walk away," authorities said.
As investigators and deputies tried to make contact, the men fled on foot in different directions, according to the sheriff's office.
Read more about robberies in Berkeley.
Officers from the ACSO and the Oakland Police Department set up a perimeter and, with the help of the plane as well as drone units, found McMillian hiding in a rear yard on Myrtle Street, according to the sheriff's office.
McMillian surrendered a short time later "without incident" following K-9 announcements by authorities, the sheriff's office said.
McMillian had the keys from the stolen Honda in his possession when he was arrested, authorities said. The two other men from the Honda were not immediately located.
McMillian was ultimately determined to have an outstanding felony warrant related to a robbery and carjacking in Berkeley, authorities said.
As of Wednesday, McMillian remains in custody and has been charged with vehicle theft and possession of stolen property in connection with the new case.
He turned 20 on Friday while in jail.
Berkeley mugging still under investigation
Berkeley police say they are still working on the Dec. 20 mugging investigation to determine what charges may be filed.
David Schooley, the son of the 80-year-old woman who was mugged, said she was "recovering and doing all right" as of Wednesday, "all things considered."
He said his mother still has some bruises and a sore hand from the robbery but was "soldiering on."
Schooley said police had been helpful after the robbery, driving his mother and cousin home and staying there until a locksmith changed the locks.
Officers had also warned his mother that the robbers might come back to take her car, he said.
Several hours after the robbery, as Schooley was heading to bed around midnight, he checked his mother's security camera one more time to make sure everything was OK.
"It had been kind of a wild night and I wanted to see that nothing nefarious was going on," he said.
That's when he saw that, just a few minutes earlier, a vehicle had driven up to his mother's home on Brookside Drive and a person in a hoodie had gotten out of it and stolen her car.
He alerted the Berkeley Police Department and immediately sent in the footage. A BPD officer then went to his mother's house to let her know what had happened.
"She was really grateful for that as well," he said.
Following the arrest in Oakland, his mother had gotten the Honda back, Schooley said.
Aside from an "interesting odor inside," the car appeared to be in working order, he said.
Schooley also said police had indicated there were strong leads in the Berkeley case, in part thanks to the security footage.
Dylan McMillian already facing carjacking, robbery charges
Dylan McMillian. ACSO
McMillian and a codefendant, Quran Mabon, had already been charged with three Berkeley robberies, including a carjacking, from February and May of this year, according to court papers reviewed previously by The Berkeley Scanner.
On Feb. 21, three people carjacked a man in the 3200 block of Ellis Street in South Berkeley around 9:45 p.m.
They claimed to have a gun and threatened to shoot the victim, police wrote, taking his phone and wallet in addition to his car, a white Mercedes Benz.
The other two robberies took place in Berkeley in May less than a week apart and in the same general vicinity north of Cal. And both appear to have involved Cal students.
On May 11, four people assaulted two young women in the 2700 block of Le Conte Avenue, near La Loma Avenue, and robbed them of their belongings at about 10:50 p.m.
On May 16, a man approached a woman walking north on Shattuck Avenue, toward Vine Street, just after 10:30 p.m. He ordered her to give up her phone and backpack.
Quran Mabon, a 19-year-old Rodeo man, has been in custody for several months in relation to those crimes as well as a high-profile carjacking in Piedmont.
But McMillian had not been in custody because authorities had been unable to find him.
According to charging papers, McMillian was convicted in Nevada in January of firing a gun into an occupied structure or vehicle. He was placed on probation as a result.
As of this week, he remains in custody with a combined bail of $325,000 in relation to multiple cases, according to booking records online.
He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Jan. 3.
Robberies are up in Berkeley this year
Robberies overall, which include carjackings, are up significantly in Berkeley this year.
There were 41 carjackings in Berkeley through Dec. 18, compared to 14 over the same period last year.
Robberies overall are up 32% in 2023, from 291 in 2022 to 385 this year.
Auto thefts are up even more starkly.
More than 1,300 vehicles have been stolen in Berkeley in 2023, a 61% increase over last year, according to BPD data.