Your Bernal Heights Crime Report for May 2013: Violent Crime Is Down, Property Crime Is Up, and Criminals Are Lazy

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Ever-vigilant, Neighbor Sarah attended the SFPD Ingleside Station Community Meeting on May 21. Afterward, she typed up these fantastic summary notes for the rest of us. Lots of very interesting crime statistics and data this month, so read on and be wiser:

Notes from Ingleside Community Meeting, 5/21/13

Captain Falvey presided.

CRIME STATISTICS AND TRENDS

Captain Falvey handed out a printout of the Compstat crime statistics. Part I crimes (shown below) are violent crimes and property crimes; Part 2 (not shown) are mostly misdemeanors. Compstat has changed from reporting a rolling four-week period to reporting monthly, which is helpful. These stats are for April 2013.

There was a 44% drop in violent crimes from March to April. Robberies are still up 42% YTD, but there has been a 15% decrease in all other violent crimes YTD.

Robberies have been trending down the past three months. They can’t say exactly why, but arrests are up a LOT, and the police have been using Compstat to deploy resources to high-crime areas.

Property crimes are up 17% YTD, with the biggest driver being theft from autos (up 71% YTD, but also declining in recent months). The station has gotten lots of the new recruits, which frees up other officers to focus on thefts from autos.

One area of focus has been Precita Park. They have had several plainclothes officers in that area, including one who broke his nose when he ran into an auto booster and they bonked heads.

Someone asked why Precita is such a popular spot for break-ins. Theories included easy freeway access, a nearby homeless encampment, and the proximity of the Bernal Dwellings. The Excelsior is similarly “popular” for auto boosters. It was observed that it seems as if there are more homeless people in the area, possibly because a large encampment near the Caltrain station was recently dismantled.

Burglaries were down 39% from March and are more or less flat YTD. Arrests are way up. Auto thefts were down from March and are also more or less flat YTD. One of the officers knows the auto thieves in the area very well and has been keeping track of those released from prison. “Criminals are lazy” and prefer to “work” near where they live. Also, they tend to run downhill (vs. uphill) when fleeing.

Personal thefts are up – again, it’s largely phones, iPads, laptops left in cars or at Starbucks when you go to the bathroom (do NOT do that). This category also includes shoplifting.

Homicides are down 86% YTD, but the stat is screwy because 2012 had one crime scene with five homicides (Howth Street murders).

Robberies so far in May are up a bit from April. Police continue to get photos of criminals from MUNI video – and victims using phones near doors. THIS IS VERY FOOLISH BEHAVIOR. Robbers have realized MUNI has good video, so now often will follow someone from bus stop and THEN rob them later. Often, they are still captured on video (because they were watching the victim), just not in the act of committing the crime.

Q&A/OTHER

Captain is working with DA and Permit Officers on 10 worst “problem properties” in district – both commercial and residential. These are addresses with most police calls and other problems. Coincidentally, moments after the meeting ended, officers had to go deal with one of these properties on Andover in Bernal.

InglesideCompstatApril2013
InglesideCompstatApril2013p2PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

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4 thoughts on “Your Bernal Heights Crime Report for May 2013: Violent Crime Is Down, Property Crime Is Up, and Criminals Are Lazy

  1. This assumes that homeless people are responsible for the auto boosting. Boosting means stealing, not burglarizing. People who steal cars ALREADY have a network set up to unload them, which is why particular models are stolen and other are left untouched. There’s a market for stolen parts. This means ORGANIZED groups of people. Within 24 hours of a car being stolen it has been stripped and parted out to various resellers. Usually all that’s left is the body itself, and those used to wind up under the 280 freeway near the Caltrain station because it was an easy hidden spot to parts out the cars. Since the police have been vigilant about checking that area the car bodies now end up on various dead-end streets in the Dogpatch and Butchertown neighborhoods.

    Homeless people are not organized, and in fact, most of them just want to be left alone. So, proximity to a homeless encampment has nothing to do with the number of cars being stolen. But, why Precita Park? Uh, probably because the thieves feel that the car owners aren’t going to shoot them if caught; they’re likely to just report the theft to their insurance carrier, as happens when cars are stolen in Noe Valley, Pacific Heights, etc.

    • Your point about homeless people is valid (it is unclear to me whether they are the thieves), but your comments on SF car thefts are WAY off and almost entirely factually inaccurate. Well north of 90% of cars stolen in SF are recovered. They are largely used for what the police call joyriding and what others refer to as high-risk Zipcar. The majority of cars stolen are taken by using shaved keys that will work in pre-2001 Hondas and Acuras.

      As used by SFPD, auto boosting means stealing things FROM autos and is distinct from auto theft, a separate category of crime. It may be used differently elsewhere, but that’s the way they use it here.

  2. Pingback: Got Him! SFPD Nabs Break-In Suspect Near Precita Park | Bernalwood

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