News Roundup

ATTORNEY GENERAL SETS NEW GUIDELINES TO HANDLE UNIVERSITY SEXUAL ASSAULTS

California Attorney General Kamala Harris Wednesday released new guidelines for the handling of campus sexual assault cases spelling out the need for universities to notify and collaborate with local law enforcement in all such cases.

The model memorandum-of-understanding, released with University of California President Janet Napolitano, victim advocates and law enforcement officials including Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, is intended to help universities and local law enforcement coordinate their efforts in campus sexual assault investigations.

It was released in response to a state law, set to take effect July 1, requiring all college campuses to immediately contact law enforcement when a sexual assault occurs. The MOU should help schools and police provide clear, accurate and supportive information to victims and respond effectively to allegations, officials said.

The MOU was created by a working group that included O’Malley and agencies including San Francisco police.

Universities are not required to use the MOU if they already have agreements in place with local law enforcement that address the new legal requirements, according to UC officials.

The UC released new systemwide policies for the handling of sexual violence and harassment cases last year and adopted standards requiring consent to be unambiguous, voluntary, informed and revocable. Studies have found as many as one in five undergraduate students have been a victim of attempted or completed sexual assault, and an estimated 80 percent of those sexual assaults go unreported, according to Harris.

Some studies suggest as many as nine out of 10 assaults on campus are perpetrated by repeat offenders, she said.

OAKLAND: SUSPECT IN STREET ROBBERY, CARJACKING ARRESTED

A suspect in a street robbery Tuesday morning and a carjacking Monday night was arrested in East Oakland Tuesday, according to police.

The robbery was reported at 6:30 a.m. in the 4800 block of Congress Avenue. A woman said two men took her purse and cellphone as she was sitting in her car, according to police.

Her description of the two suspects was similar to the description police took of a carjacking suspect from Monday night, police said.

Officers found the carjacked vehicle later in the day in the 7200 block of Lacey Street, a short street between 69th and 72nd avenues, according to police.

The suspect in the car still had the robbery victim’s belongings in the car, police said.

Both the carjacking victim and the robbery victim identified the suspect. Police also found two other vehicles reported stolen from a car dealership in a nearby city, police said.

Police arrested the suspect, who has not been identified.

PALO ALTO: STOLEN VEHICLE USED IN BLOOMINGDALE’S JEWEL HEIST

A stolen SUV crashed into a Stanford Shopping Center department store in Palo Alto where a large amount of jewelry was taken early Wednesday morning, police said.

Around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, a security company called police dispatch about an activated alarm at the store, according to police.

Arriving officers found the SUV had crashed into the front glass doors of Bloomingdale’s, where they found multiple glass jewelry display cases were smashed and a substantial amount of jewelry was missing, police said.

Investigators reviewed video footage from the store’s surveillance system that showed a red SUV back up into the front doors and three people, all wearing black-hooded sweatshirts, step out of the vehicle, according to police.

A fourth suspect drove the SUV out of the store and waited for the three other suspects, police said.

In about two minutes, the trio had used tools, possibly hammers, to break into the display cases and steal jewelry. They then ran to the waiting SUV and fled, according to police.

Bloomingdale’s employees are looking through the store’s inventory to determine how much jewelry was taken, police said. Photos taken from the store’s surveillance system show the SUV’s license plate number matches a red 1989 Jeep Cherokee reported stolen Tuesday in the 2200 block of Birch Street, police said.

The vehicle theft occurred sometime between last Friday and Tuesday, police said.

An officer found the stolen Jeep unoccupied around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of Palo Alto Avenue and detectives are processing the vehicle for evidence, according to police.

Detectives are looking into whether the Bloomingdale’s case is connected with a similar burglary on Feb. 19 at Keeble & Shuchat Photography on California Avenue, where two suspects drove a minivan into the front of the store and stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, according to police.

Anyone with information about the Bloomingdale’s case is asked to call Palo Alto police at (650) 329-2413.

(News Roundup Via Bay City News)