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Berkeley Police Department
Thursday April 28th, 2016 :: 10:37 a.m. PDT


Masked-Revolver Series Ends in Arrest

Berkeley Robbery Detectives have been working diligently since the beginning of March to close a steadily evolving robbery series where Bay Area restaurants were being targeted shortly before or just after closing time by the same suspects.  This group of criminals would ultimately be responsible for a total of 23 “take-over” style robberies, nine of which occurred in Berkeley.  Among the primary victims were businesses in Berkeley, San Francisco, San Leandro, Albany, Oakland, and Hayward. 

After the third Berkeley robbery, Detectives began reaching out to other neighboring agencies in an attempt to share information and develop investigative leads.  It became clear based on the suspects’ calm demeanor, and video evidence obtained from the victim businesses that a comprehensive effort would be required to apprehend them.  A task force was established involving Police Departments from the cities listed above with support from the Oakland Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.    

The break in the case came just after midnight on Friday, April 22nd, when the suspects attempted to rob a bar in San Francisco which was under surveillance by members of the San Francisco Police Department.

Arrested were:

Kristoffer Jones, 18 years old, of Albany

Shawan Spragans, 40 years old, of Oakland

Merl Simpson, 46 years old, of Oakland


We would like to thank members of the San Francisco, San Leandro, Albany, Oakland, and Hayward Police Departments and the FBI who all assisted in the closure of this case.

Members of the community are encouraged to come forward if they have additional information concerning these crimes.  Please contact the Berkeley Police Department at (510) 981-5900 (anonymously if you wish) or via email at [email protected]

Berkeley Police Department
2100 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 510-981-5900

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