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. (firstname.lastname@example.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.