If the theory that a heat wave induces violent crime has any merit, then the events that unfolded this morning in Berkeley on one of the warmest days of the year – the average high is 67 degrees, and the high temp projected for today is 89 degrees – just might be a textbook case. Just before 2 a.m., reported the SF Chron an intruder stabbed a woman whose North Berkeley home he was burglarizing. He fled. Minutes later he strolled through the open door of a nearby fire station, where he stabbed two firefighters. “The fire crew chased him outside, where he ran away,” the paper reported. With the combined forces of Berkeley and UC Berkeley police, an Oakland K-9 unit, and a CHP helicopter, the suspect was eventually found an hour later hiding beneath a deck on Parker Street. Not long after, at 6:30 a.m., the city logged its first homicide of the year when a man was found dead in West Berkeley.
Update: The stabbing death in West Berkeley, which is being investigated as the city’s first murder of the year, occurred at 6:30 am Sunday, not Monday as we had reported.