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Brother and Sister Go to Jail
By Officer Lois Perillo
A 44-year-old woman and her 42-year-old brother were arrested and charged with the robbery of a 75-year-old man within his own apartment on Cesar Chavez Street.
The robbery occurred on Friday, Sept. 3, at about 2 p.m. But the police didn't become aware of it until Sept. 17, when the elder man called me to report an extortion attempt and death threat that day.
Upon speaking with him, I learned that the extortion happened in the aftermath of a home-invasion robbery two weeks before. The elder man said that on Sept. 3 a woman he had known for about two years had brought the robber, her brother, into his apartment. After stealing his money, the duo bound the older man with duct tape and ordered him to stay in his room while they removed the phone line and exited the apartment.
Although he was not physically harmed, the resident was embarrassed by the incident and refrained from immediately reporting it to police. However, when he got a phone call from someone linked to the sister/brother team, who threatened his life if he didn't hand over more money, he dialed my line at Mission Station (see below).
I recognized the name of the female suspect and ran her criminal rap sheet. Then I contacted Inspector Ted Mullins of Night Enforcement, who took charge of the case.
Mullins placed a tap on the elder man's phone and gathered information, which led him to the sister/brother team. The two were arrested Sept. 29 and remain in custody pending their court dates.
Three Robberies with a Gun
A trio of bad guys on foot, one carrying a gun, robbed a total of six people in three separate incidents in September. The robberies were on different days, but all were within a two-block radius and between 10:30 and 11:00 at night.
The first robbery occurred on Friday, Sept. 3, at 10:30 p.m. on 21st Street between Valencia and Guerrero streets. The second happened Saturday, Sept. 4, at 11 p.m. on 22nd Street and San Jose Avenue. The last occurred on Sunday, Sept. 19, at 10:30 p.m. in the 100 block of San Jose, between 22nd and 23rd.
Fortunately, the people who were robbed were not harmed physically. In one case, the police detained a suspect. However, the robbery victim was unable to make a sure identification, so the man was released.
Street Safety Tips
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some safety tips:
- Be alert to your surroundings.
- Trust your instincts.
- If you notice suspicious people approaching you, change your path -- go to a neighbor's house, walk into the street, talk loudly, or even run.
- If confronted with a weapon, comply with the robber's request. Consider removing your money and throwing it on the sidewalk.
- Take mental notes of the suspect's looks, clothes, speech, behavior.
- After the incident, be gentle with yourself. You've experienced a great stress to which your mind and body will react. Expect temporary changes in your sleeping, eating, and thinking. This is normal, and will usually recede in two weeks.
- Talk, talk, talk.
In all of the cases I've described here, those who were targeted by robbers "won" because they were able to tell their stories. If you know someone who was involved in a criminal or critical incident, please support them by allowing them to tell their story and heal.
Aggravated Assault with a Sink
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, at nearly 2 a.m., a 39-year-old man who had been drinking beer in the Rover's Inn on 24th Street, stole patrons' money from the counter, attempted to punch the female bartender, and then tore a bathroom sink from its fittings and threw it at the bartender and her patrons. Luckily, he missed and the bar's patrons were able to hold him in the bathroom until police arrived.
When the suspect attempted to fight the officers, he was pepper-sprayed. Paramedics were called to the scene to treat the suspect, who then spat and kicked at the emergency workers. He repeated his violent behavior against the nurses at San Francisco General Hospital.
Upon being medically cleared, the suspect was booked at county jail on two felonies and two misdemeanors. He was held for six days, then released on bail. The district attorney's office later reduced all four charges to misdemeanors, and the sink-thrower remains free pending his court date.
The Women in Blue ... and Red
Yes, once again I packed my bags and headed for the International Association of Women Police's annual training conference. This year, about 500 of us came together during the second week of October in Philadelphia, Pa., to participate in classes ranging from Interview and Interrogation to Crime Scene Investigation to Hostage Negotiation. Opening ceremonies are always a high, since that's the time we don our respective uniforms and march in file, some wearing the red serge of the Canadian Mounties and others the blue wool of the L.A.P.D.
Friends joined me from across the country and around the world. There was Marilyn, a New Jersey state special agent, who was again my roommate; Ohio troopers Mary and Lisa; Seattle motor-cycle officer Deb; Portland lieutenant Michele; and Inspector Mary and Sergeant Pat from Madison, Wis.
Constable Linda came from British Columbia, as did Diana of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Izzy, another constable, arrived from London. Sergeants Carrie and Lynnette, Inspector Dolly, and Officer Robin accompanied me from San Francisco.
As always, the time went too quickly. We're looking forward to the year 2000 and our conference in Toronto, Ontario.
Until next month, let's continue to watch out for one another. I'll see you on patrol.
San Francisco Police Officer Lois Perillo covers her Noe Valley beat-- from Valencia to Grand View and 21st to Cesar Chavez -- on foot and on bicycle. If you would like to discuss a crime or safety problem, call her at 558-5404, the community policing line at Mission Station.