An Antioch man has been charged with burglary in connection with a package theft investigation in Berkeley that unfolded last month, court papers show.
Suspect Michael Gunton told police "he was committing crimes to be able to pay for gifts during the holidays," Berkeley police wrote in charging papers.
Gunton's "unique neck tattoo" helped police link him to the Berkeley package theft case, police wrote.
Gunton — a longtime repeat felon — was also a suspect in other Bay Area burglaries last year, according to court papers.
On Dec. 6, 2023, police say Gunton and two female accomplices used an apparent USPS mail key to get inside an apartment building in the 2900 block of Florence Street in South Berkeley.
The trio "stole packages from the secured mailboxes inside of the building," police wrote.
Gunton's face was "clearly visible" in building security footage, as was a tattoo on the right side of his neck, according to BPD.
Berkeley police identified Gunton when they spotted him on an advisory from the Oakley Police Department about two commercial burglaries in that city.
Michael Gunton. BPD
Gunton was arrested in court in mid-December in connection with the new cases in Berkeley and Oakley, BPD wrote.
In early January, the Alameda County district attorney's office charged him with one count of burglary in the Berkeley case.
According to court papers, Gunton already has felony convictions dating back to 2010 for burglary, vehicle theft, evasion and other crimes.
The evasion case, which appears to be the most recent conviction, sent him to prison in 2020, according to charging papers.
Gunton entered a not-guilty plea on Jan. 4 in the Berkeley case and was later released on bail.
He is scheduled for his preliminary hearing in mid-February, according to court records.