Suspect in Berkeley burglary series arrested after standoff

Police say Alfredo Morales stole $8,000 in jeans from one business and $200,000 in electronics from another.

Suspect in Berkeley burglary series arrested after standoff
Alfredo Morales confessed to nine burglaries in Berkeley dating back to October 2023, police said. The Berkeley Scanner/Google Maps

A man linked to nine commercial burglaries in Berkeley was arrested this week after a brief standoff in Oakland, authorities report.

Berkeley police say Alfredo Morales stole $8,000 in jeans from one business and $200,000 in electronics from another, according to charging papers.

Surveillance footage, DNA and fingerprint evidence, an Apple Air Tag and other clues helped police zero in on Morales as their suspect, BPD said.

On Tuesday, detectives spotted Morales driving a stolen Hyundai in Oakland where they arrested him with assistance from BPD's Special Response Team.

Read more about crime in Berkeley.

According to police, Morales broke into Crumbl Berkeley, a cookie shop across from UC Berkeley, in late October 2023 and stole $1,000 along with nearly $3,000 in free cookie vouchers.

That burglary was captured on surveillance footage where Morales' face was "clearly visible," police wrote. DNA also linked him to the scene, according to BPD.

Surveillance footage also showed Morales arriving to that scene in a stolen vehicle in which he was later arrested, according to police.

On Jan. 22, police say Morales broke into two eateries on Durant Avenue, Poke Bar and T-Toust, and took cash and electronics. Security footage again captured Morales and his face, according to BPD.

A few weeks later, on Feb. 16, police say Morales smashed a window at Gregoire restaurant on Cedar Street, prowling the business and leaving a fingerprint.

On March 8, he broke into Vive HTC, a virtual reality research center on Shattuck Avenue, and took a $2,000 electronics system, according to BPD. That burglary was also caught on camera.

Burglaries at Koja Kitchen, Milyar Cafe, SAHA and a Levis Surplus location followed in March and April — with $8,000 in jeans being taken from Levis, according to Berkeley police.

A break in the case came May 12, BPD said, when Morales stole an e-bike with an Air Tag from 2452 Bancroft Way, right next to UC Berkeley.

Police tracked the Air Tag into Oakland, to the area of 30th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, where they spotted Morales and recognized him.

On Tuesday, Berkeley police tried to arrest Morales after seeing him driving a stolen Hyundai near MLK and 30th, BPD said.

When they tried to arrest him, Morales "fled into an RV and barricaded himself inside, refusing to come out," according to charging papers.

BPD got a search warrant for the RV and repeatedly ordered Morales to come outside, which he did after about 30 minutes, police said.

Officers found the stolen e-bike outside the RV along with credit cards linked to eight victims inside, according to BPD.

"During a Mirandized statement, Morales confessed to all of the burglaries and identified himself in snapshots of the CCTV footage," according to charging papers.

Alfredo Morales. BPD

He was arrested in connection with the Berkeley cases as well as a probation violation and two burglary warrants from Oakland, BPD said.

On Thursday, the Alameda County DA's office charged Morales, 36, with all nine burglaries as well as vehicle theft and receiving stolen property, according to charging papers.

He has four prior felony convictions for being armed with a firearm while possessing drugs, possession of a firearm by a felon and vehicle theft.

As of Friday, he remained in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a combined bail of $500,000 according to jail records.

He was scheduled for arraignment Friday morning.