Neighbor Sarah, your vigilant volunteer Bernal Heights crime reporter, attended the SFPD Ingleside Community meeting last week, and she filed these terrific summary notes on the latest Bernal Heights crime trends. Read on, be wiser, and stay safe:
Ingleside Station Community Meeting – 9/17/13
Captain Tim Falvey presided. He has now been captain for one year and 24 days.
CRIME STATS AND TRENDS
See attached handout (below) for Compstat summary.
Homicide — 1 in August in Sunnydale; 6 YTD vs. 14 last year at this time.
Robberies – lower by 22% in August vs. August 2012. Arrested 18 people for robberies this August (vs. 1 last August). Half of robberies occurred in the “5-car” sector – roughly City College to Crocker-Amazon Park. Robbers may be following people farther away from Balboa Park BART after the police focused on that area for some time. Ingleside has also been getting help from the Violence Reduction Team (plainclothes officers deployed from downtown) – they have 4-5 officers, 2 days a week this month.
Burglaries – up 37% this August vs. August 2012. Arrests are up 63% YTD.
LOCK YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS – even on the 2nd or 3rd floors! One-third of the 41 burglaries were at houses where doors were unlocked or windows were left open.
Another trend is that homes being remodeled or homes under construction are being targeted – there were 6 of these last month. Thieves took appliances, tools.
The police made one arrest when a neighbor got up to use the bathroom at 3:15am and decided to look at the crescent moon. He saw some guys with hoodies and flashlights in the house under construction next door. He didn’t call 911 (but should have – call 911 for any crimes in progress, even property crimes) but did get a license plate number. He reported it the next day, and the police located a van with $4600 in stolen appliances in it. If you’re in doubt about calling the police, ask yourself: if it was your house, would you want someone to call the police? And if you’re remodeling, have your contractor put tools in a proper, lockable storage container. And if construction is happening around you, you should know this is a trend – so call the police if you see people at “off-hours” in a house under construction.
Auto theft – pre-2001 Hondas and Acuras are 59% of the vehicles stolen and recovered in the District. On average, 88 cars stolen a month in the Ingleside. Last month, 122. Use a club-like device if you have an old Honda or Acura. Better yet, get the ignition re-keyed at the Honda or Acura dealership (should be $150-200).
Violent crime – up 7% YTD, but all driven by robberies. If robberies weren’t up, violent crime would be down 5%. Property crimes are up 15%, driven by theft from auto. Do not leave bags, computers in your car!
Side note by captain: If you’re a victim in a crime, please testify! Can’t put criminals in jail if no one will testify.
Ingleside held traffic education/enforcement operations around SFUSD schools when school started up again. Wrote more than 1000 tickets.
I asked about speeding on Stoneman and Folsom. Traffic enforcement operation will happen soon.
Someone asked about shots fired in Vis Valley – the captain said they haven’t had any shots fired over there since August 27; it may have been on the Bayview side. Sunnydale now has security cameras – the Housing Authority got a grant.
Someone else asked about pot-smoking in public – do police care? It’s illegal, but the police won’t do a lot of proactive enforcement. If you call in a complaint, they will investigate. For example, businesses complain when people go to dispensary and then smoke outside, with smoke blowing into other businesses.
Lucia Casaravilla, Community Boards, 920-3820
Community Boards offers conflict resolution services for neighbor disputes & other conflicts. Founded in 1976, longest-running public mediation group in US.
They offer mediation and facilitation services – ‘agency of first resort’ for disputes. Safe, neutral, impartial space – all info is confidential and cannot be used in litigation. They provide a panel of three trained mediators – are all volunteers who have had 40+ hours of training.
Process – there is a one-time fee of $40 to open a case, but the mediation is free.
They’ll contact the neighbor, set up mediation, do follow-up. Completely voluntary, so neighbor does not have to participate. Mediation is 3 hours – most of the time, you will get a resolution. If needed, they will schedule a second mediation.
Cyrus, Rebuilding Together SF, 905-1611
Group does free home repairs for qualifying residents on the last Sat. of October and April each year.
Mostly does work for seniors, but open to all homeowners who live in SF and make under $62,200 a year (one person). They also do some safety modifications for renters.
Always looking for volunteers, especially those with trade skills.
Website currently under construction, so call the number above to ask for an application or to volunteer.
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, October 15, 7pm, Ingleside Station.
IMAGE: Telstar Logistics