Your Bernal Heights Crime Update for May 2015: Gambling Dens Are Trouble, Pity the Sad Car Windows, and Guard Your Succulents

sfpdtiltshift

And now, a quick update on Ingleside Precinct crime patterns, courtesy of Neighbor Sarah, our valiant SFPD liaison:

Ingleside SFPD Community Meeting and Crime Update
Meeting: May 19, 2015

Elder Abuse – People are pretending to be contractors or utility employees to gain access to houses, and they are targeting older residents. Help spread the word. Have had four of these incidents in Ingleside, and more have happened in the Richmond and Bayview. Call police to check out any suspicious activity or confirm a worker is legit – 553-0123 (or 911 if they actually get in and you realize they’re not legit).

Burglaries picking up in same spot where there were burglaries in Nov/Dec in Miraloma Park area. They think the current crew is related to the people who were arrested in Nov/Dec and are still in jail. Daytime burglaries – same MO as last time: ring bell, kick in door.

Robberies on Mission corridor (Mission/Geneva area especially, but also Mission/Kingston) Police think it’s related to gambling shacks. Many victims uncooperative, not wanting to give information. Increasing patrols late at night. Not just one crew. Robbers look for easy marks – people walking alone, people coming out of bars alone, etc. Some guns and knives; others strong-arm. Report activity (people always hanging out at a particular spot, etc) and be specific when you see it. Even minor details can be very important (like broken taillights). Tell officers to take a report and that the captain said to do it. It takes them a while to shut down gambling shacks, and they need lots of evidence. Working with City Attorney and DA. Can’t say much yet. “Our lucky breaks are you.” Police reports are critical – don’t just send in an email to the station. Call right away when you see activity.

Increase in gang activity on Mission Corridor near Crocker-Amazon. Nortenos of Daly City trying to make a comeback. Recent robbery, retaliatory shooting. Also fights, stabbings. All happening later in night.

Naples & Persia “sideshows” – Cars doing donuts and burnouts, etc — report immediately. Get plates. Hard to catch in the act unless neighbors call it in. Getting a license plate is the key.

Car break-ins still high across city. Stolen property usually sold within half an hour of the theft (on Market/7th).

Parents in the audience brought up pedestrian/traffic issues at Aptos school. Numerous incidents. Working with complex web of constituencies, supervisors, and police because they’re in two supervisory districts and two police districts.

Also, one thing I forgot from my last set of notes: Upper Noe has seen succulent thefts again lately (as have some areas of Bernal). Some people found the thieves on video surveillance. It appears to take place around 3-4am, and the thieves have carts covered with blankets. They put the cuttings inside and replace the blanket. So if you see anyone doing this, call it in. Thieves get ~$7 for them at Flower Market because drought-tolerant landscaping is on the rise.

SAVE THE DATE: The Ingleside Police District’s National Night Out BBQ will be held in Bernal Heights this year – Tuesday, August 4, 5-8pm at the Bernal Heights Recreation Center and Bernal Heights Library. Please save the date for free food and lots of family activities, including the Rec & Park climbing wall, bouncy houses, games, and giveaways. Meet your neighbors and enjoy a summer evening out!

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Bernal Neighbor Has Video of His Own Car Being Stolen

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Neighbor John’s car was stolen last week, and he has security camera footage that shows how the thieves did the deed:

My neighbor recorded some nice video of my old Honda Civic being stolen the other night at the corner of Bonview and Coso/Stoneman.

This may just serve as a warning to people in the neighborhood. You can see the thieves checking very carefully for hidden keys in the wheel-wells. Doing that is a great way to give thieves easy entry. I didn’t do that, but it does seem that these guys knew some kind of trick to get around my anti-theft setup.

My car’s license plate is 3TQT217 on the off-chance someone might see it. I suspect they might have wanted it for parts. The body is pretty beaten up.

Here’s the video:

Laptop Stolen While Owner Was Using It at Cortland Coffee Shop

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Ugh. There was some unpleasantness yesterday at Progressive Grounds coffee shop on Cortland. Neighbor Davis reports:

My roommate’s laptop was stolen out of her hands on Sunday while she was working out of Progressive Grounds. It happened at 1:30PM; the two people (young African-American men) came into the coffee shop and one man grabbed it from her table and ran out of the coffee shop while the other man followed him. My rooomate pursued the two people heading south on Bennington Street, where the two men eventually headed east around Ellert or Newman Street and jumped into a grey SUV that was waiting for them and sped away.

Various people in the cafe proceeded to help her figure out how to catch them. The police were called and she filed a report with them. The cops later contacted her with possible leads on cars around the area.

We are currently trying to figure out if there is some kind of surveillance footage on cortland street or adjacent streets that might have captured any video footage of the criminals.

Have footage? Bernalwood will be glad to pass it on. In the meantime, please be careful out there.

Your Bernal Heights Crime Report for March 2015: Burglars Burgling, Lots of Auto Break-Ins, and Shotwell Stairs Can Be Sketchy

SFPD

Once again, Neighbor Sarah, your valiant volunteer Bernal Heights crime correspondent, attended the SFPD Ingleside Community meeting this month, and she filed these summary notes on the latest Bernal Heights crime trends. Read on, read carefully, be smart, and stay safe:

Notes from Ingleside Community Meeting, March 17, 2015

I attended last week’s community meeting, as did several Bernal neighbors. The room was as packed as I’ve ever seen it. Lt. Rich Struckman, the night watch commander, filled in for Capt. McFadden.

There was a double homicide in Crocker Amazon recently. SFPD believes it was targeted/gang-related. Can’t share much because it’s a homicide investigation. No retaliation so far.

Rash of burglaries in Nov/Dec/Jan – arrested group of six people related to those. Preliminary hearings going on now. Suspects told SFPD they skipped homes with any sign of alarm/security/etc. Looked for newspapers/pamphlets piling up or other signs people were out of town. Knocked on doors to see if anyone answered. All daytime robberies in that string.

“Be a nosy neighbor.” If you see a crime in progress – even property crimes – call 911. If you see people you think are casing homes or cars, call 553-0123. Try to be detailed when calling.

If you’re calling the police after the fact in a burglary, have the police come take a report – important for investigators because it helps them tie crimes together if, say, an arrest is made in a similar crime in the future.

Lots of auto break-ins – hard to solve. Lots of desperate people in SF. Often narcotics-related (ie, drug addicts opportunistically looking for things to steal and sell).

SFPD highly recommends SFSAFE (673-SAFE) for setting up neighborhood watches and for learning crime-prevention tips.

Lt Struckman thinks Ingleside has the most and best-organized community groups in the city.

Lailah Morris, assistant DA posted at the station, was in attendance. (lailah.morris@sfgov.org)

Question about robberies on Geneva/Mission corridor – but on the back streets. Two officers always posted in that area.

Cell phone kill switch question – you have to call a hotline to get phone disabled, but it is on all new iPhones. For older phones, little cellphone stores will break phones for bad guys so they can re-sell.

Question on new lights for dark streets (often a question in Bernal as well). Very difficult to get new lights installed. PUC owns most lights on major corridors. PG&E owns most lights on residential streets. Supervisor Wiener trying to bring all under city control. For now, your best bet for getting new lights installed is to work with your supervisor and stay after the PG&E Government Relations representative. Surprisingly helpful measure is to have everyone leave on porch lights all night.

Question about Alemany condo complex — even security cameras have been stolen! Constant auto break-ins. One guy was arrested for residential burglaries in that area in Feb – those have dropped. But auto break-ins tend to be opportunistic and committed by people with drug problems.

Question about illegal gambling shacks. Major arrests at Kingston/Mission – working in conjunction with DA and City Atty to shut this and other ones down. Ingleside is kind of pioneering the approach of how to deal with these businesses, which are all over SF now. People running them seem often to be affiliated.

SFPD staffing – After years of retirements and low staffing after the recession, mayor/supervisors are really cranking through academy classes now – promised 3/year but doing 6 this year. Should be back up to full staffing (1971 officers) down the road. Police force is very young right now.

If you have an issue where you need to tell the police about your neighbors, they will work with you to make sure you are not identified as being the person who informed.

Question about Shotwell stairs in Bernal – cameras capturing illegal activity (drug drops, etc).

Question about parks – Officer Hauscarriage (former night watch) is now on parks duty.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Cupid Blamed for Weird Car Crash on Bernal Summit

bernalcrashtopcupid

Ah, the things we do for love.

You no doubt recall that weird incident earlier this week which saw a car crash into a guard rail near the summit of Bernal Hill beyond the access road gate. And then, of course, the driver of the vehicle declared he was Steve Jobs.

Well it turns out the whole thing was a romantic interlude that went horribly, terribly, insanely, stupidly wrong. So someone at SFPD’ Ingleside station had a lot of fun writing it up in the station’s normally staid crime newsletter:

Incident Date:
Monday, March 16th, 2015

Arrests:
7:20am  Bernal Heights/Anderson Vandalism
The third time was not a charm for two young lovers who wanted to park in a spot with a view of the City. The man and woman decided to consummate their feelings by the Bernal Heights radio tower. However, the road to the tower is protected by a gate thwarting their amorous plans, but only for a short minute. The lovers decided that no gate was going to prevent a wonderful morning so the two, in their Honda Civic, rammed the gate to gain entrance. But the gate didn’t break. So, they backed up and hit the gate a second time and again the gate held tight. The third time, they backed up even farther, and successfully broke open the gate, before speeding up the access road to the top of the hill. All the noise alerted nearby residents and dog walkers who promptly called police. Ingleside Officers Wong and Chang responded and found the couple, and their severely damaged Honda, parked near the radio towers. Both were put in custody and the driver, who didn’t have a valid California license or insurance, was booked for trespassing, vandalism, malicious mischief, and other charges. Report number: 150233507

Further proof: Bernal Heights is for lovers.

PHOTO: Car crashed on Bernal Hill, March 16, 2015, by Neighbor Devon

Vehicle Crashes in Closed Area of Bernal Hill Summit, Suspects Detained

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Reports are just coming in, but Neighbor Devon shared this [strangely beautiful] photo of an automobile crash at the very summit of Bernal Hill this morning, above the barrier gate near Sutrito Tower:

I’m not sure how they got through the barrier. I was near the top and witnessed it from 20ft away on the other side of the barrier. The drivers were speeding up the service road and crashed near the bench. The driver told me not to call the cops, and said he was Steve Jobs. They fled into the cellular tower gate. The suspects were in police custody when I left.

@bernaljournal (who is not the same as the Bernal Journal newspaper) reports that the perps apparently went Dukes of Hazzard through the gate:

This Is Why You Should Never Ever Leave Stuff Inside Your Parked Car

breakinmeme

Ever wonder what one of those guys who smash windows and grab stuff from inside parked cars looks like? Wonder no more, because Neighbor Bud got some crisp security-cam footage of a would-be thief evaluating a potential target on Bocana:

Saturday, March 7th, at 5:40AM, a person with a backpack and a burglar tool came walking down Bocana Street, checking out cars to break into.  Our camera caught him checking out our car in front of our home.  He came from the direction of Powhattan and was headed downhill toward Eugenia.

Here’s the infuriating security camera vid: