Your Bernal Heights Crime Summary for August 2012

It’s that special time of the month for Bernal crime-watchers. Your ever-vigilant Neighbors Sarah and Edie attended the SFPD’s Ingleside Station Chief’s Meeting last week, and they typed up this mega-handy summary of the latest Bernal Heights crime news.

This month’s installment also covers a lot of Crime-Prevention 101 terrain that’s well worth reading. Stay informed, stay safe:

Notes from Ingleside Community Meeting, 8/21/12

Captain’s Report by Lieutenant Greg Yee; greg.yee@sfgov.org

Captain Mahoney has gone out on extended medical leave. Captain Tim Falvey will take over this week. He has most recently been stationed at SFO but also served as secretary to the SF Police Commission.

Lieutenant Greg Yee is the day-watch lieutenant. He has been with SFPD 22 years; recently worked for 6 years in data management at central command. He hopes to use his time in Ingleside to implement better use of technology in data collection and analysis to predict and prevent hot spots and criminal activity. To that end, he encourages all residents to report concerns to the police. “If you see something, say something.” The more information they have, the more they can act upon. (Editor’s Note: Seriously. See something amiss? Report it, report it, report it. Data nurtures safety.)

Yee also believes that it’s important for police to get to know their neighborhood and their neighbors. He asks his officers to treat the people with as if they were family – to follow up with victims and to get to know youth so preempt crime from happening. Consistency helps, from keeping the same Captain at the station to having beat cops stay on specific beats. But the Chief of Police can move any officer at any time, for any reason.

HOW TO CONTACT THE POLICE AT INGLESIDE STATION:

  • Urgent matters: Call 911 during a life threatening or urgent public safety incident that requires an immediate police, fire or medical response, as well as when criminal activity (ie: breaking into car or home) is occurring.
  • Non-urgent matters: Email SFPDInglesideStation@sfgov.org to communicate issues that may be affecting the community. Photo attachments are also helpful when describing a situation or condition. The Ingleside email box is checked daily Monday-Friday.
  • Non-urgent matters that you would like to discuss with someone: You can also request a phone call from an officer to discuss an issue in detail. The email box is not checked on the weekend. If you would like to speak to someone on the weekend, please call Ingleside Station (404-4000) and ask to speak to the Lieutenant on-duty.
  • Anonymous tip line: The Ingleside Station has been having landline problems, and the anonymous tip line was out of service for a while. It is now operational again: 587-8984.

CRIME STATS

Aggravated Assaults
29 incidents / 18 arrests / up 4% from last month / up 15% y-t-d.

Robberies
9 incidents / 0 arrests / down 65% from last month / down 26% y-t-d. Mostly juveniles committing these crimes.

Sexual Assaults
1 date rape, 1 arrest.

Burglaries
26 incidents / 2 arrests / down 10% from last month / up 23% y-t-d.
For a better chance at recovery, register your bike.

Auto Theft
67 incidents / 6 arrests / down 12% from last month / up 52% y-t-d.

Theft from Auto
68 incidents / 1 arrest / up 42% from last month / down 12% y-t-d.
Don’t leave anything in your car, keep it in a garage if possible – if not, buy a Club. If you see anyone looking into cars or checking car doors, call 911.

INCIDENTS AND RESIDENTS’ CONCERNS

• In the middle of the day, an adult spotted three young kids carrying a gas can into a back yard, and called the police. Police report that kids were young, had found instructions on how to make Molotov cocktails on the internet, and decided to try it out just to see what would happen.

Fire on Vienna in the Excelsior – 2 fatalities, two elderly men. Fire Department is completing its investigation, but hoarding seems to have been a factor – hard for Fire Department to get into house.

• On Monday, the Ingleside Station held a fugitive prevention exercise, working with the state parole office in locating and arresting 7 parolees who haven’t met their parole conditions. One had bullets for an AK-47, but no weapon was found.

• Apparently guns sometimes appear in unexpected places. Police picked up an assault rifle in someone’s woodpile recently in Visitacion Valley.

• Last week, neighbors called the police when a man came out of a problem house on Alemany at Laura swinging a 6′ chain. Police shot him with bean bags when he refused to comply with their orders, and paramedics took him to the hospital. Lieutenant Yee will check to see what happened to him.

• Police have received complaints about ice cream vendors with non-stop ringing bells. Officers will evaluate the situation and figure out if the vendors have permits.

Back to school for the SFUSD happened last week! Residents around elementary schools on narrow streets report a traffic problem, especially when parents double-park and even leave their cars to drop off/pick up their kids. Drivers tend to drive quickly around the blockage and may hit kids trying to cross the street. Yee has asked the day sergeant to send school cars and motorcycle officers to all the schools to help clear up the traffic jams and educate parents.

• Several Bernal residents have found blue painter’s tape at the bottoms of front doors and suspect that burglars put it there to see if people are away on vacation. However, there have only been 3 residential burglaries in Bernal recently – 2 of them stolen bikes, so police are not sure what’s going on. If you see tape on your door, DON’T touch it; instead, email the police SFPDInglesideStation@sfgov.org and ask them to check for fingerprints. Also watch for suspicious vehicles or persons and report any sightings via the non-emergency number.

• One person in Sunnyside received a robo-call saying his area has increased crime and offering him a free plan to protect the house, complete with a line directly to SFPD. This is likely a scam to see which businesses don’t have security systems in place; please be alert and don’t fall for anything that seems too good to be true.

Parking citation increases: The new parking citations just came out, and the fine for parking in a handicapped zone without a permit is $966. (See this article for other increases)

Safe Haven Program. This is an existing program that has fallen into disuse. It allows ordinary citizens to see signs on street and run into businesses and ask for help if they’re afraid. A community member asked for program to be fully implemented and advertised.

• Community members around Crocker-Amazon Park have heard whispers that some of the adult gang members who hang out there are carrying guns in their backpacks. This is occurring when soccer practices are being held. Yee: the community is fearful of the guys with guns (and they are afraid of being seen as snitches), but police can use targeted enforcement to saturate areas in danger, and they ask that neighbors who know where guns might be stashed to call and tell them (anonymous tip line works well for this). He said he has had officers out in the Sunnydale connecting with the community. For example, they cleared out junked cars with broken windows that the younger kids had been using as a playground. It’s important that police connect with the kids in non-confrontational way, to forestall later violence.

[A few additional crime-trend notes from recent Community Police Advisory Board meeting: station seeing more "activity" at Holly Courts housing, as well as 100 Highland Gang members posting YouTube videos of themselves flashing gang signs on Highland. There is a Mission gang with an affiliate now operating in the Mission/Geneva corridor – the Geneva Mob. The station is working with the Gang Task Force on both of these. Norteño/Sureño activity rising in the Mission – most activity occurs there, but many gang members live in the Ingleside. Outdoor bikes – locked to trees, poles, parking meters – are seeing an uptick in thefts.]

GUEST SPEAKERS

Rani Singh, Assistant District Attorney, is the newly assigned community neighborhood prosecutor for Ingleside and the Taraval. VM: 753-7703. Chief Gasçon has asked experienced DAs to work in assigned neighborhoods for 1.5 to 2 years. A native San Franciscan, Singh has been working for the DA for 14 years, and has worked in many areas of law enforcement in the city. She’ll spend mornings at Ingleside and afternoons at Taraval. Singh is eager to hear from residents and would be glad to attend small or large group meetings. She will serve as a conduit between police and residents, assisting officers with their report writing and advising them on the law, and advocating for the community if officers do something inappropriate.

Neighborhood Court System of restorative justice. This is a program designed to deter first-time misdemeanor offenders by having them face and repair the consequences of their actions. It will also lighten the load on our court system and jails. How does it work? As our local Assistant DA, Singh will sort through non-arrest cases that arrive at Ingleside for cases that meet the criteria: first offense – no domestic violence, no weapons, no felonies. If the offender wants to participate, their case will be handed over to a neighborhood court, where volunteer Ingleside residents will set consequences appropriate to the case, such as restitution, mediation, and treatment for anger or substance abuse. Click here for more info or to become a volunteer adjudicator.

Delia Montiel, is a Victims Services advocate at the Youth Guidance Center. 753-4410. An Ingleside resident, Montiel has worked at the YGC for 6 years, focused on juvenile cases. She is a great resource for a juvenile or adult who has been victimized or is under arrest.

UPCOMING MEETING

Ingleside Community Meetings are held on 3rd Tuesday of the month from 7 – 8 pm in the Community Room of the Ingleside station, 1 Sgt. John V. Young Lane at San Jose Ave. All are welcome to hear about issues affecting the district and ask questions. Next meeting will be Sept 18th.

Whew! Please join Bernalwood in giving a hearty thank you to Neighbors Sarah and Edie for their excellent notes. Their YIMBY dedication is truly awesome.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

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5 Responses to Your Bernal Heights Crime Summary for August 2012

  1. WJ says:

    I will join in the emphatic “Thank you!” for Sarah and Edie.

    I have a couple questions for the crowd:
    1) Do clubs actually work? My boyfriend (whose 90s Honda was stolen with a shaved key just a couple months ago and recovered the next morning) insists that they are essentially worthless — way too easy to pop open. He had an alarm and kill switch installed so no problems since then.
    2) Anyone have experience parking a scooter on the street in Bernal? Any issues? I don’t see many of them out, most people likely store them in their garages. Thinking about getting one but would probably need to street park it.

  2. a.fisher says:

    Thanks for the comprehensive update and specific #’s/persons to call!

  3. Nina says:

    Reposting this here as I don’t know how to make a pingback:

    I found blue tape on my front door and garage today. Called the cops and waited 3 hours for them to come and take a report, which they did not do. At least they showed up.

    They said there is nothing they can do about it until a crime is actually linked to the tape. No investigative unit is working on it as far as they know. They have no other reports of this happening, but did hear that neighbors were talking about it. I showed them this post (er, previous post about blue tape on doors) on bernalwood. I also read them the recap of the crime meeting which said that if you have tape on your door to request that the tape be fingerprinted and to email the police dept. I called dispatch instead of emailing them about it. They can’t process the tape for fingerprints because my house is adjacent to the sidewalk so anyone walking by could have potentially touched the tape. The evidence would not hold up in court. So basically there is nothing they can do and the only report they offered me was a CAD number for the call to come out and see the blue tape. Lame. I sure hope I’m not the victim in the crime that’ll link someone to the tape. They suggested I remove the tape so that the person who put it there knows that I am home.

    Please continue to actually CALL the cops when this happens so they can get someone on the case before a real crime is committed.

  4. Tom says:

    WJ, the club does work and discourages someone from trying their luck.

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