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By Officer Lois Perillo
There were three reported robberies within my area of Noe Valley during the month of September.
On Saturday, Sept. 9, at 10:20 p.m., a 26-year-old man, who was walking on Castro Street near 26th Street, was robbed at gunpoint by two men in their 20s. The gun-wielding assailant waved the weapon in front of the man's face, while the other suspect frisked him and found his wallet. This accomplice removed the money from the wallet before returning it, and ordered the targeted man to face away while the two suspects made their escape. The targeted man returned home and reported the robbery about seven hours later.
A 36-year-old man, walking south on Guerrero Street near 21st Street, was robbed by a man in his 30s on Monday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. The robber approached him from behind and lifted his wallet from his back pocket. The man was alerted to the suspect's doings by his friends, who happened to be walking at a short distance behind him. A struggle ensued, and the suspect ripped the targeted man's pants before he fled with the stolen wallet into a waiting car.
Witnesses got the license number and gave it to responding Officer Maria Escobar, who found that the car was recently embezzled. Officer Escobar put a felony warrant on the vehicle, which was found at 6 a.m. the next day, on Shafter Street. A crime tech was able to lift prints from the vehicle, which may be valuable in the ongoing investigation.
The last robbery of the month began as a shoplift from Global Exchange on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 2:30 p.m. A 47-year-old man stole $300 worth of woolen place mats from the store. Initially, he was pursued by a 41-year-old man, and then a 31-year-old man joined the chase. The theft shifted to robbery when the suspect used force against his pursuers in a failed attempt to escape.
Officers Leo Sevilla and Ray Salvador responded to 19th and Eureka streets and took custody of the suspect. He was booked on robbery, which is a felony, and battery, a misdemeanor. The district attorney's office changed the robbery charge to "theft with a prior conviction," but kept the battery charge. The suspect was held three days in county jail, then released, upon his promise to appear in court on Nov. 9.
As I reviewed this particular theft case, I recognized the suspect's name. It turns out he was arrested last May by an off-duty officer for a shoplift at Starbucks. In that instance, I booked him on felony theft with a prior conviction. The district attorney's office then rebooked him on the misdemeanor count.
He was held in custody for two days and released, after promising to appear in court. He didn't show up, so the judge issued a bench warrant. The warrant was served when he was arrested Sept. 24. However, once again he was released. Let's see if he makes his court dates for both cases -- which happen to be set for the same day, in the same court.
Burglaries Go Up
Noe Valley experienced an upsurge in burglaries during the month of September, reporting a total of 14 break-ins. Burglars hit six houses, six apartments, one garage, and one store.
The commercial burglary happened on the weekend of Sept. 16 17, somewhere between 9 p.m. Saturday and 7:50 a.m. Sunday. An unknown person entered Noe Bagels on 24th Street through the rear of the building and stole the cash register and one of the store's knives. A crime tech responded to take evidence at the scene, but the case remains under investigation.
Car Break-ins Go Down
It was a significant turnaround that Noe Valley reported fewer auto boosts (8) than burglaries (14) during the month of September.
One leisurely auto burglar was arrested on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 11:30 p.m., thanks to a call alerting police that a man had just broken into a vehicle parked on the 1300 block of Guerrero Street. When Officers William McCarthy and Robert Padrones arrived, they found the 30-year-old suspect still inside the car.
When they noted the car's broken window and the suspect in possession of burglary tools and the car's radio, they immediately arrested him for auto burglary. The suspect, who was already on probation, was booked on two felonies and one misdemeanor. The district attorney's office dismissed the charges and moved to revoke his probation.
Where Is He Now?
In February of 1997, I arrested a 27-year-old man for a shoplift from Rite Aid. His charges were dropped back then, but he was arrested again in May, this time for strong-arm robbery. He pled guilty to a felony theft charge, and got a sentence of 90 days in county jail plus three years of probation.
Recycle Bills with Care
In the past few months, I've received several calls from Noe Valley residents about people stealing papers from their blue recycling bins. In one incident, the thief was driving a white Ford van with "Children's Hospital of Oakland" lettering on its side. The resident in that case made a phone call to the hospital and was told that Children's had sold the van and had indeed received other reports of its use in the theft of recyclables. I ran a DMV check on the van's plates and discovered that its owner lived nearby.
On the advice of my fellow beat officer, Lorraine Lombardo, I sent the information to the Burglary Detail, which investigates recycling theft citywide.
A strong reminder to those of you who recycle paper:
* Remove all identifying numbers, and your name and address, before putting personal papers in the bin.
* Or, shred the papers.
* Annually check your credit history via the three credit bureaus: Equifax, 1-800-685-1111; Transunion, 1-800-888-4213; or Experian, 1-800-422-4879.
Whose Bike Is It, Anyway?
If anybody owned a gray Novara mountain bicycle that was stolen, please call me at Mission Station, 558-5404. The bicycle can be returned to you if you provide me with its serial number.
My Inside Assignment
Thanks to efforts by my boss, Deputy Chief Heather Fong of Field Operations, as well as to Deputy Chief Mindy Pengel of Investigations and Commander Rick Bruce of Patrol, I've been assigned to work with Officer Chuck Limbert on his innovative and successful graffiti tracking and cleanup program. I'll be based at Mission Station and able to continue with my inside beat work, which includes writing this column and working the community phone line at the station.
As for the personal news I revealed in my October column, my partner Heather and I appreciate all the good wishes that you've sent our way. Thank you. I'll be in my fifth month by the time you read this, and my pregnancy is going well. Just the other day, I heard the baby's heartbeat!
However, contrary to what I reported last month, Mission Station's Captain Ron Roth has decided not to assign an officer to replace me on my 24th Street beat. This means that for the first time in nine years, Noe Valley will have just one beat cop to patrol the streets, Officer Lombardo.
So try to be extra safe this month, and continue to watch out for one another. And give Lorraine a thumbs-up when you see her on patrol.
San Francisco Police Officer Lois Perillo keeps tabs on crime from Valencia to Grand View and 21st to Cesar Chavez Street. If you would like to discuss a crime or safety problem, call her at 558-5404, the community policing line at Mission Station, 630 Valencia St.