Police Searching for Suspected Prowler in Berkeley

Police are searching for a suspected prowler who may be tied to several thefts in Berkeley.

Surveillance video captured at 12:30 a.m. Sunday show the suspect attempting to open car doors and hiding as vehicles passed by, police said. The man tried to open at least a dozen car doors near Spruce and Northhampton streets, police said.

The man is then seen on surveillance video entering the backyard of a home on the 500 block of Spruce Street.

There were no indications that he burglarized the residence, police said.

Still, police said the man has been caught on surveillance video on several occasions in the area and is considered a person of interest following thefts in the area.

"It's a concern to me," said Dean Schmitz, who lives in the area. "I have little ones and I'm kind of scared about the neighborhood, especially when it happens when we're sleeping."

Some neighbors said Sunday's incident is at least the 10th time the man has been caught on camera. Residents are now frustrated nothing has been done.

"When the problem becomes this severe, it becomes a priority," resident Geoffrey Prenter said. "And it's clearly not being responded to adequately."

The man is described as 40-50 years old, standing 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, 160 to 190 pounds, with a thin goatee. Each time the suspect was caught on surveillance video, he was wearing a dark jacket with a collar and a zippered front, blue jeans, black boots, and a black baseball hat with either a purple or blue bill.

Police said the man walks with a very distinctive limp and may have some deformity to his left hand.

Anyone with information on the suspect should contact Berkeley police at 510-981-5737.

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