Noe Valley Voice July-August 2001

Police Beat:
A Few Vacations Almost Ruined

The following crime summaries were culled from incident reports filed at Mission Police Station from May 5 to June 7, 2001.

Attempted Armed Robbery:
5:45 a.m. on May 5; Corner of 24th and Church Streets

Very early in the morning of Saturday, May 5, a 27-year-old woman, departing on vacation, was standing at the corner of 24th and Church streets waiting for a cab, when a black and silver Dodge Caravan stopped in front of her. A man, in his early 30s, standing 5-foot-8-inches, weighing approximately 165 pounds and wearing a beige jacket, got out of the van, approached her and said, "Got any money?"

The woman then noticed that the man was holding a gun inside his jacket. He once again asked the woman for money and grabbed her by the arm. She tried to pull away from him, but couldn't. "I just want to go on vacation," she told him.

The robber then noticed another man walking down the sidewalk and quickly released her arm, telling her, "Go home, girl." He got back into his van and drove away.

The woman said the man did not actually point the gun at her during the incident. And luckily, she suffered no loss or injury. She told police that she was not sure whether she could identify the man. The suspect was still at large in late June.

Theft from a Business: 1:30 p.m. on May 7; 4000 Block of 24th Street

The manager of a hair salon on 24th Street told police that a recently fired employee came into the shop on Monday, May 7, and began yelling about a paycheck that he believed he was owed. He then opened the cash register, told the store manager he was taking $100, grabbed the cash, and fled west on 24th Street. Police searched for the suspect, but could not find him.

Attempted Arson: Between 10 p.m. on May 18 and 8:30 a.m. on May 19; 4200 Block of 25th Street

The owner of a home on 25th Street near Castro told police that there was no damage to the house when he left it at around 10 p.m. on Friday, May 18. However, when he returned home the next morning, he discovered that someone had attempted to burn the door of the downstairs flat, which he rents to a friend who happened to be away on vacation.

Police noticed black smoke and burn marks, covering the entire front door of the lower flat. Paint on the door and door frame also showed bubble marks from the heat. Police searched the area for matches, disposable lighters, or other evidence, but found none.

The owner told police that he and his family had not had disagreements with neighbors or anyone else, and that he did not believe the friend who lived in the flat had any connection to the incident. Police called the Fire Station at Hoffman and Alvarado streets. They also advised the owner to leave the damaged door as is, until arson experts had time to investigate.

Residential Burglary: Between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on May 22; 300 Block of Fair Oaks Street

Around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 22, the resident of a building on Fair Oaks Street left his locked apartment to go to work. Around 4:30 p.m. that same day, the resident's landlord discovered that the glass and wood front door to the apartment had been shattered. The resident returned home to find his Dell laptop computer and Warwick electric bass guitar missing.

Police say an unknown suspect kicked the door's wood frame, shattered the glass, and then entered the apartment and stole the guitar and computer.

Car Thefts and 'Boosts': Hill Street, 25th Street, and 23rd and Vicksburg

At least two Noe Valley residents reported their cars stolen -- both in the early hours of the morning. On Tuesday, May 22, a blue four-door 1987 Volvo was taken from in front of the owner's home on the 400 block of Hill Street. On Friday, June 6, a 1998 Toyota 4-Runner was stolen in the 3900 block of 25th Street.

Car thieves also "boosted" or broke into vehicles in the neighborhood. In one case, occurring on Monday, June 4, an unknown suspect used force to break into the left front door of a 1992 Nissan Pathfinder, parked at the corner of 23rd and Vicksburg. The suspect stole a Sony stereo face plate, 15 CDs, an emergency road kit, a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses, a backpack, bicycle clothing, and a Motorola cell phone power cord.

Police Contacts

Mission Police Officer Lorraine Lombardo, who regularly patrols 24th Street, provided the Voice with the incident reports for this month's Police Beat. Officer Lombardo and Captain Ron Roth invite Noe Valley residents and merchants to attend the community meeting held at 6 p.m. on the last Tuesday of the month at Mission Station, 630 Valencia Street (near 17th). The next meeting is scheduled for July 24.

Mission Police Station covers the northern half of Noe Valley, from 21st Street to Cesar Chavez. Residents can call the station at 558-5400 or send e-mail to To report anonymously on drugs, gangs, or other crime, call the non-traceable police hotline at 558-5452.

Ingleside Watches the South Side

Those Noe Valleyans who live south of Cesar Chavez fall within the jurisdiction of the Ingleside Police District. Ingleside community meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at Ingleside Station, 1 Sergeant John Young Lane, near the 2000 block of San Jose Avenue. The next meeting is set for July 26, 7 p.m. To contact Ingleside Station, call Captain Marsha Ashe at 404-4000 or e-mail

To report a crime in progress, call 911. (Cell phone users should dial 553-8090, since 911 automatically routes the call to the California Highway Patrol.)