Noe Valley Voice April 2001

Police Beat: It's a Girl!

Mission Police Officer Lois Perillo, who has been writing this column for the past 12 years, signed off last month saying she'd be taking an indefinite leave from the Voice to welcome her new baby, due in March. We're happy to report the stork arrived: Dorothy Perillo-Dutton was born at 7:53 p.m. on March 10, 2001, weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces. Mom and baby, and Lois' partner, Heather Dutton, are doing fine and wish to thank their Noe Valley extended family for all their well wishes. The Voice will coax Lois, Heather, and Dorothy into a "More Mouths to Feed" interview in the near future.

In the meantime, we will provide a crime log detailing some of the more significant or unusual incidents occurring in the neighborhood during the prior month. Here's our first installment.

Theft from Unlocked Vehicle: March 6, 12:20 p.m., 4031 24th Street

A 37-year-old woman flagged down a police officer in front of 4031 24th Street (near Noe) regarding her Coach leather backpack, which had just been stolen from her Volkswagen Cabriolet. The woman had been standing on the sidewalk in front of her open passenger door and was looking across the street. Her backpack, containing a cosmetic bag, tortoise-shell sunglasses, and miscellaneous cosmetics, was on the front floorboard of her Cabriolet. She diverted her attention from the backpack for a minute, and when she looked again, it was gone, so she began searching around the car for it.

The woman was then approached by a 47-year-old man, who informed her that he had just seen a juvenile male, wearing dark pants and a black hooded coat, standing very close to her. The older man said the juvenile appeared to be "extremely nervous" and "up to something."

An officer searched the area, but could not locate the suspect.

Shortly before the officer was flagged down by the woman, he and another officer took a report of a juvenile, matching the description of the theft suspect, who had walked into Wells Fargo Bank at 4023 24th Street. The juvenile in that incident looked around the bank and inquired about where the money was kept.

Animal Cruelty: March 9, 10:06 p.m., Bell Market parking lot

Three officers responded to a report of a man holding a burning match to the nose of a 6-year-old male golden retriever in front of Bell Market. A man who witnessed and reported the incident had driven into the Bell parking lot and noticed the golden retriever tied to a stone bench outside the market. The witness then went inside the market to shop and upon his exit saw the suspect standing near the dog. The witness said the suspect, who was drinking a beer, stamped his foot on the ground next to the dog, causing the dog to become agitated and bark. The suspect then lit a cigarette, and with the lit match tried repeatedly to touch the dog's nose. The dog kept pulling away to avoid the flame.

The witness, disturbed by the suspect's behavior, approached him, and the suspect replied, "I can do whatever the fuck I want with my dog. Where's your badge?" The witness told the suspect he would be calling the police on his cell phone and began dialing. The suspect quickly finished his beer and walked away with the dog, telling the witness, "Too bad you don't have a uniform tonight."

As the officers were en route to Bell Market, police dispatch informed them that the man and the dog were now walking along 24th Street, headed toward Dolores. The officers spotted the suspect near Sanchez Street, walking the dog on a leash. Officers detained the suspect and explained they were investigating a call about a man trying to burn his dog's nose.

The suspect informed the officers he had been in front of Bell and had lit a cigarette with a match. He told officers he held the match to the dog's nose to "teach it to stay away from fire," but had done so only once. He also told them the dog belonged to his parents, who were in Spain for an extended stay. The parents had flown the dog to San Francisco from their residence in New York to be cared for by the suspect, but as his landlord would not permit pets in the building, the dog had been staying across the street from the suspect's apartment with a friend.

Officers searched the suspect for weapons and found a box of cigarettes and a book of matches in his pocket. They then examined the dog, but found no evidence of a burn injury on his nose.

The witness later identified the suspect as the same man he had seen in front of Bell Market and signed a citizen's arrest for animal cruelty. The suspect and dog were then taken to Mission Station for further investigation.

Officers contacted Animal Care and Control, which authorized the release of the dog into the suspect's friend's care with the restriction that the suspect not be allowed custody of the dog at any time. If the stipulation is violated, Animal Care and Control will impound the dog and shelter him until he can be transported to his owners.

The suspect was cited for animal cruelty and released from Mission Station. His friend told police she intended to contact his parents as soon as possible and have them make arrangements to transport the dog back to New York.

Trespassing: March 14, 9:50 a.m., 3914 24th Street

An officer was sent to 3914 24th Street (near Sanchez) to investigate a dispute between a truck driver and a woman who took the driver's keys out of his vehicle.

The driver informed the officer that he was delivering food to a nearby restaurant, parked his vehicle in front of 3914 24th Street, and left the engine running. He told the officer he had to leave the engine on to keep the food cold in the back of the truck. As he was unloading food from the truck, the woman approached him and demanded he turn off the ignition. The driver told her to leave him alone so he could finish his work. She then allegedly pushed him aside and entered the truck. He ran up to her and told her to get out of the truck. She refused and turned off the ignition. He reached in and turned the ignition on again.

The driver claimed the woman then entered the truck once again and took the keys. She then ran across the street and entered the restaurant where the driver was making his delivery.

The owner of the restaurant said that the woman gave him the keys and said, "He's delivering it to you. It's your responsibility to turn off his refrigerator in the truck." The owner also informed the officer that this was an ongoing problem with the woman and that she and the driver had been involved in other disputes reported to police.

The woman told the officer that the sound of the truck's idling disturbed her "peace and privacy." The officer told the woman to notify police if she had any problems with delivery trucks, but she insisted that she would rather do it her way.

The driver signed a citizen's arrest form. The officer made an ID check on the woman and cited her for trespassing.

Forcible Entry and Burglary of Residence: March 15, between 10:15 a.m. and 3:40 p.m., 1100 Block of Church Street

A wife and husband reported to police that they left their Church Street home at 10:15 a.m., and had secured all windows and locked all doors. When they returned home at 3:40 p.m., they found the front door closed, but no longer locked. They also found a rear window broken and another rear window screen removed and bent. The woman reported that numerous jewelry items, including a gold necklace, were missing from her nightstand.

After investigating, the officer concluded that the unknown suspect entered through an unlocked side door to the couple's backyard and gained access to the rear of their home. The suspect then removed a rear window screen and broke a window to enter the residence. The suspect used the front door of the home to exit.

The husband reported seeing two suspicious people get into a car parked on the 3800 block of 23rd Street. He gave police a license plate number. The officer provided the couple with loss forms to fill out and forwarded his report to Crime Scene Investigations for follow-up.

Stats on Mission Station

Special thanks to Captain Ron Roth of Mission Police Station for providing the Voice with the incident reports used to compile this month's Police Beat. Captain Roth invites all interested Noe Valley and Mission District residents to attend the police-community meeting held on the last Tuesday of the month, at Mission Station, 630 Valencia Street. The next meeting is scheduled for April 24, 6 p.m.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss a crime or safety problem, call Mission Station at 558-5400 or send an e-mail to SFPD For recent crime stats in the neighborhood, go to the SFPD web site at police. To report anonymous information on drugs, gangs, and other crime, call the non-traceable Mission Station hotline, 558-5452.

To report a crime in progress, call 911--unless you're using a cell phone. (Cell phone users dialing 911 are automatically routed to the California Highway Patrol.) People using cell phones in the city should call 553-8090 to report an emergency. However, if you are on a freeway and need CHP assistance, continue to call 911.