Security Camera Reveals Face of Thief Breaking Into Cars on Bonview


If you’ve ever had someone break into your car, you’ve probably experienced the fantasy that involves being able to see the face of the dirtball who violated your space and took your stuff — if only to know what kind of person is that kind of an dirtball.

Well, someone broke into Neighbor Mike’s car on Bonview just before 6 am last Monday morning, and his security camera captured the whole thing:

I caught a thief on our security camera canvassing our block and stealing from my car. (I left my car doors unlocked, doh!)

The thief really took his time going through my car, and notice how he doesn’t slam the doors or the trunk, just gently closes them to not make noise. It’s creepy knowing this was happening right below me while I slept.

Side note, he only got a tray full of quarters. Luckily I didn’t have any valuables in the car.

Sit back, grab some popcorn, and get a good look at the dirtball who swiped some stuff from Neighbor Mike’s car:

Car Overturns Under Suspicious Circumstances on Bernal Hill



Drama!  Bad driving! Vehicular inversion! A suspicion of crime! On Bernal Hill!

There was an accident on the north side of Bernal Heights Boulevard late Saturday morning that left a vehicle overturned in a rather unlikely place. Neighbor Benjamin shared his photos, and this report from the scene:

On Saturday at about 11:20 AM, while waiting for the bus at Bradford and Esmeralda, I heard a terrific crash, and went to investigate.  This is what I saw when I arrived.  Witnesses said the four occupants of the car had all run off, which I take to mean they were probably up to no good.  Though on the plus side, that also probably means they were unhurt.  I tuned in to the Bernalwood blog this morning to get the details and was dismayed to find no mention of these events.

No further details on this yet, but Bernalwood will update this post as additional information becomes available.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Benjamin

UPDATED: Heavy, Handmade Community Bench Recovered After Late-Night Theft



Last Saturday morning, Bernalwood received an urgent communication from Neighbor Annice on Prospect. Overnight, someone had stolen the beautiful new community bench she’d helped install:

Please send an ALERT for a beautiful community bench taken [Friday] night from Prospect. There is a wonderful story behind the bench; it was handcrafted for the neighborhood from a single tree felled in a forest north of Tahoe, milled and designed by a woodworking artist. [On Friday] night around 1:30 a small commotion was heard. The bench had only been in place for fifteen days, and was already appreciated as a welcoming addition to our neighborhood. We are heartbroken it disappeared.

As the saying goes, “this is why we can’t have nice things.” *sigh*

Happily, however, the story had brightened considerably by Sunday. The bench was recovered! It seems the urchins had not gotten far with it, in no small part because the bench is just so damn heavy.

But that has created a different problem, as Neighbor Annice explains:

The good news is the bench was found! Please ignore my earlier request unless you think there is a story about nightly rowdiness. Apparently drunken people tried to carry this ton bench, managed to get a block away. and abandoned it.

A neighbor took it in for protection and then saw our plaintive notice, posted like hopes for missing pets. My immediate neighbors were in an upset over the stolen bench. None of held high or even any hope. So perhaps the story mingles malicious behavior with the best of human behavior.

We still need a posse to return it a block away if any samaritans (strong) want to help, much appreciated if you could pass the word along.

UPDATE, 29 JULY: The Bench is Back!


Neighbor Annice is overjoyed:

The bench returns!
Many strong men ahoy!
Carried this lovely bench back to Prospect.
A feat!
We benchwarmed with wine and will try to handle security without compromising looks.
A small film is being made about the bench by a SOTA student.
Will keep you posted. May be a footnote to public art issues on the hill.
Merci beaucoup!

PHOTOS: Top, @TheRealWBTC. Below, courtesy of Neighbor Annice. 

City May Offer Svanemyr Family $15 Million in Fatal Holly Park Hit and Run Settlement


The Examiner has an update on the tragic case of Christy Svanemyr, the woman who was killed in Holly Park after she was run over by a San Francisco Rec and Park department truck last September. The Examiner says Svanemyr family is pursuing a lawsuit against the City:

San Francisco may be required to pay $15.13 million to the family of the mother who was fatally run over by a municipal pickup truck at Holly Park last year. A Recreation and Park Department gardener, Thomas Burnoski, remains on trial charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with the hit and run incident.

The pending settlement comes nearly a year after 35-year-old Daly City resident Christine Svanemyr was fatally run over while lying on the grass with her 11-month-old child and small dog in the Bernal Heights park. The child and dog were not injured.

The Recreation and Park Commission on July 17 recommended approval of the proposed $15.13 million settlement of the legal claim filed last year by the victim’s husband, Vegar Svanemyr, according to a Recreation and Park Department official. It would ultimately require approval by the Board of Supervisors.

The Examiner also reports that the felony vehicular manslaughter charges filed against Thomas Burnoski, the Rec and Park employee who was driving the truck that killed Christy Svanemyr, are also underway. A pretrial conference took place earlier this week, and Burnoski is scheduled to return to court on September 4.

PHOTO: Flowers at the site where Christy Svanemyr was killed, photographed on Saturday, Sept 7, 2013 by Telstar Logistics

Boozy Miscreants Use Dormant Home as Million-Dollar Party Shack




It is 2014 and San Francisco is booming, housing is scarce, real estate is ridiculously expensive, and Bernal Heights is officially the sexiest neighborhood in the entire galaxy. And yet, somehow, in the middle of all this, it’s still possible for a million dollar home to become a semi-abandoned party shack where local miscreants can get drunk, enjoy the view, and trash the joint.

The party house is that Tahoe-style ski chalet that came up for sale on Mullen last March. The place sold for $950,000 in April, but since then it has had no regular occupants — except some errant local youths.

Neighbor Ian explains the rest:

The house that recently sold on Mullen Ave has sat dormant since the sale, encouraging locals to break in and party. It’s unclear who the culprits are, but there have been many gatherings of youth on the open space next to the house. Police responded a few weeks back and apparently nabbed a few people, but the partying continues. The next morning, dog walkers typically find liquor bottles strewn about, (along with the security caps found on higher-end booze.)

Neighbors have not met the new owner, but workers have come from time to time to add new plywood to the facade, only to have it pried off within 24 hours. I took these pics from outside, but I could have easily entered this million-dollar fixer-upper. Neighbors worry that these gatherings will continue. What is the obligation of the new owner to prevent these break-ins?

On the bright side, this can only mean Bernal has not yet gentrified to the point of becoming like Greenwich, Connecticut. Woo hoo!

PHOTOS: Neighbor Ian

Bernal Heights Home Fire Reveals Marijuana Grow Farm


KCBS reports that an overnight fire in a Mayflower Street night revealed an unexpected surprise:

Firefighters battled a one-alarm fire in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood where they uncovered an illegal marijuana grow operation this morning, a fire dispatcher said.

A report of a fire in the 300 block of Mayflower Street came in around 3:50 a.m., the dispatcher said.

Apparently, an arrest was made after the secret was discovered:


Occupy Bernal Disavows Rogue Graffiti on Peralta Home


occupyhouseOver the weekend a home on the 600 block of Peralta Avenue in Bernal Heights was tagged with Occupy Bernal Heights graffiti, prompting several neighbors to share photos of the damage with Bernalwood.

Graffiti seems incongruent with the above-board (and generally impressive) tactics of Occupy Bernal Heights activists, so Bernalwood reached out to Neighbor Buck Bagot from Occupy Bernal for insight. He replied:

Occupy Bernal hasn’t been active as Occupy Bernal in over a year, since we folded into SF ACCE. We’re now doing a lot of work helping folks in Bernal and the Mission fight Ellis Act evictions. (We helped the tenants at 23rd and Florida save their 10-unit building). And that’s not our style. No vandalism or violence, especially towards the Police.

Whatever vandal did it must think they evicted prior residents of something – no excuse though. Juvenile and destructive. And not effective either. A very few of the Occupy SF folks have no aspirations to tap the support of the vast majority of our neighborhood/City/nation. Like the term “99%” – we mean it. [Graffiti is] destructive, and counter productive.

PHOTOS: Top, Rally P.; Below,  Evan S.