by Anneli Rufus
From Officer Andrew Frankel of the Berkeley Police Department comes this bulletin about a sexual predator snatched off our streets last Thursday.
After seeing a prowler standing atop a ladder and peering into the window of a woman's home on the 2000 block of Parker Street, the woman's boyfriend chased the peeper on foot to a house on the 1900 block of Parker. There the peeper managed to evade his pursuer. "Responding officers sealed off the block and began a systematic search," reads the bulletin. "Following information provided by community members, the suspect was found cowering behind a rear porch pillar." He was then arrested.
The suspect, 46-year-old James Beldin, was wanted for a February 10 sexual assault which occurred in Berkeley "merely one week after Beldin was released from state prison," reads the bulletin. "During the course of the investigation ... it became clear that Beldin was responsible for at least three other similar crimes in neighboring cities." He was booked for peeping, prowling, burglary, sexual battery, and a parole violation. The fact that this arrest happened right before Valentine's Day is just ... sweet.