Five youths believed to have committed a violent purse snatch in Walnut Creek as well as other crimes were arrested by Berkeley police after a vehicle pursuit and crash in that city Tuesday.
The youths, at least two of whom reportedly have extensive criminal histories despite their age, have been linked to Monday’s assault on a woman walking in the 1400 block of North Main Street in Walnut Creek.
In that case, one of the youths brandished a pistol while others ran up behind the woman, surrounded her and pulled her to the ground at about 10 p.m., making off with her purse. Police have reported she was not seriously injured despite the violent nature of the assault.
Police determined that the car used in the crime had been stolen in a carjacking earlier Monday in Oakland and the theft of a laptop from a customer at a Fourth Street Peet’s coffee shop in West Berkeley on Tuesday.
Witnesses of the latter crime told police the thieves were driving a white 2012 Toyota Camry, which police soon spotted on Cedar Street and chased through the city, the driver attempting to elude pursuers by driving west in the eastbound lanes of University Avenue.
The driver struck another car and lost control of his, hitting a person sitting on a bench and inflicting unspecified injuries. The youths scattered after the crash and police set up a perimeter, ultimately locating and detaining a group in the 1800 block of San Pablo Avenue.
Police detained the five juveniles after they were identified by witnesses.