Noe Valley Voice September 2002

Police Beat

The following crime summaries were culled from incident reports filed at Mission and Ingleside police stations during the months of June and July 2002.

Four Residential Burglaries: June 14 ­ 26; 300 to 500 block of 27th Street

A string of residential burglaries occurred along 27th Street between Church and Castro streets from June 14 to 26. At press time, the suspect or suspects remained at large. Due to lack of physical evidence, Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) was not called to three of the four homes for follow-up. All of the cases have been assigned to the San Francisco Police Department's Burglary Division.

The first incident occurred in the 400 block of 27th Street sometime during the weekend of June 14 ­ 16, while the resident was away from home. Upon the resident's return on Sunday, June 16, he noticed that his $2,000 laptop and $900 Nikon camera were missing from the dining room table. He then discovered that the rear door leading to his backyard was open. He did not find any signs of forced entry and believes the suspect or suspects could have entered his home through one of the windows he keeps unlocked and partially open.

On Thursday, June 20, between 11 a.m. and 6:55 p.m., a burglary occurred in a flat in the 300 block of 27th Street (between Church and Sanchez streets). The resident had locked his front door when he left home at 11 a.m. When he returned several hours later, he found open boxes on his bed and the drawers of his dresser partially opened. He also discovered a ring and a bracelet were missing, each valued at $200. Police found the resident's back door locked and all the windows secured and did not see any signs of forced entry.

The adjoining flat also was burglarized that afternoon between the hours of 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. The resident told police that upon leaving her flat, she had locked her door, but did not use the deadbolt. When she returned, she found her jewelry box and dresser drawers thrown on her bed. Several pieces of fine jewelry were missing, including a diamond and yellow gold ring valued at $3,000, an antique watch valued at $1,000, and a pair of gold hoop earrings valued at $500. Police checked the doors and found no signs of forced entry. CSI was called to the home to dust the jewelry box and drawers for fingerprints.

About a week later, on Wednesday, June 26, a home in the 500 block of 27th Street was burglarized sometime between the hours of 7:15 and 10 p.m. The two residents locked the front and back doors before leaving to go to dinner. When they arrived home, they found the front door unlocked and discovered their DVD player was missing, along with two gold rings, a Palm Pilot, and a Canon digital camera. Police found no signs of forced entry on either the back or front door, but one of the residents said he had left the bathroom window open. Police believe the bathroom window was the point of entry and the front door the point of exit.

Attempted Store Robbery: 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18; 4100 block of 24th Street

At 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, a 25-year-old man walked into a pet supplies store in the 4100 block of 24th Street (near Diamond) and started to place a fish tank filter in his pants. When a clerk asked what he was doing, the suspect shoved the clerk's chest and fled the store, dropping the filter on the way out. The clerk fell to the ground and hit her head on a fish tank, but told the responding police officer that she did not need medical attention. The clerk also told the officer that the same man had tried previously to steal a fish tank filter. The officer advised her to refuse the customer service and to call police should he come into the store again. The police officer searched the area but failed to locate the suspect.

Theft of Animal: Between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27; 4200 block of 24th Street

Two men and a woman, all between the ages of 20 and 25, entered a pet store in the 4200 block of 24th Street (near Douglass) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27. When they asked an employee how to feed a baby African Grey parrot, the employee grew suspicious because he knew that a baby African Grey had been stolen from a pet store on Judah Street the week before. While the clerk was at the front of the store talking to one of the men, whom he recognized as having made purchases from the store in the past, the other man and the woman were huddled in front of a cage that contained three parrots, including a baby African Grey parrot with a black beak and red tail. The woman eventually joined the man at the front of the store as he purchased baby formula to feed the parrot.

Meanwhile, the man who had been near the birdcage walked past the cash register and left the store. After paying for the formula, the other man and woman also left. A short while later, another store employee discovered that the baby African Grey parrot was missing from the cage.

Both pet store employees told police that the cage had been locked, but that it could be opened by a universal key purchased from any pet store that sold the cage. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Division.

Aggravated Assault: 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, July 4; 1300 block of Castro Street

At 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, a 40-year-old man was walking out of a drugstore in the 1300 block of Castro Street when he saw a 19-year-old male in a late-model white Ford Mustang racing out of the adjacent parking lot. The pedestrian told the driver "not to drive like that because it's dangerous and someone could get hurt." The driver responded with derogatory comments and expletives.

The pedestrian then walked through the parking lot and began to cross Jersey Street. The Mustang driver, who had been headed in the opposite direction, made a quick U-turn and came within a foot of hitting the man. The man was able to jump out of the way, but injured his ankle in the process. The driver fled eastbound on Jersey Street.

Street Robbery with Gun: 9:22 p.m. on Thursday, July 4; Diamond and 24th streets

A 49-year-old man was walking southbound on Diamond Street near 24th Street around 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, when he noticed two males, aged 16 to 20 and wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, hanging out in the area. As the man neared the 700 block of Diamond Street, the two suspects stepped in front of him to block his path. One was holding a black handgun and told the man, "Give it up, bitch!" The man reached into his front pants pocket and took out $18, which the other suspect grabbed. The suspect holding the gun then yelled, "Got anything else?" and the man pulled his wallet from his rear pocket. The other suspect grabbed it and took out $100. The suspect with the gun again yelled, "Got anything else?" and the man took off his $300 Seiko watch. After grabbing the watch, the two suspects then backed away from the man while yelling, "Walk the other way, bitch!"

The man began to walk northbound on Diamond, but soon turned around to see where the suspects were heading and began to follow them. As he approached the corner of Diamond and 24th streets, he told a stranger on the street that he had just been robbed and asked if he'd seen where the two suspects had run to. The stranger told the man he had seen the suspects run into the parking lot of a nearby school, but that the man should call the police, which he did from a pay phone.

Upon their arrival at the scene, police searched the area but could not locate the suspects. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Robbery Division.

Shoplifting: 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 11; 3900 block of 24th Street

At 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, a security officer of a grocery store in the 3900 block of 24th Street observed two 15-year-old males enter the store and walk to the liquor aisle. He then saw one boy place a bottle of Bacardi rum under his sweatshirt and walk away. The other boy walked to the bakery aisle and took a box of cookies from the shelf. Both boys proceeded to the checkout line, and the boy with the cookies paid for them.

The boys left the store, with the boy who took the rum making no attempt to pay for the liquor. The security officer detained the boys outside the store and asked for the rum. The boy with the bottle reached into his sweatshirt, pulled it out, and handed it to the guard. The guard then called police, who once on the scene, read the boy who had shoplifted his Miranda rights. Police then transported both boys to Mission Station.

A computer check revealed no prior criminal record, and the boy who shoplifted the rum was issued a citation for petty theft. Police called both boys' parents to pick up their sons at the station. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Juvenile Division.

Attempted Street Robbery: 11:23 p.m. on Friday, July 12; 24th Street between Diamond and Douglass streets

At 11:23 p.m. on Friday, July 12, a 42-year-old male resident of Elizabeth Street was walking westbound along 24th Street near Castro when he noticed three male teenagers approaching behind him. As he neared Diamond Street, the man began to walk in the street, where the light was better. He soon heard the three teens make a comment to him. He turned around and replied, "Don't mess with me." One suspect, who was wearing a white baseball cap and possibly holding a gun, yelled, "Give me what you got." The man yelled loudly, "Leave me alone," and the three teens turned around and ran east on 24th Street.

When he arrived home, the man called police. Several officers canvassed the area looking for the suspects. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Robbery Division.

Store Burglary: 6:14 a.m. on Sunday, July 14; 3900 block of 24th Street

At 6:14 a.m. on Sunday morning, July 14, police responded to an audible burglar alarm inside a clothing store in the 3900 block of 24th Street. They found the lock to the front door punched in and the front door open. They searched the store for suspects, but found no one inside. Police then notified the owner of the store, who was asked to conduct a visual inventory upon her arrival on the scene. She determined that one white sleeveless woman's shirt, valued at $69, was missing from a display mannequin, but said she would not know if more clothing was taken until she completed a thorough inventory. Police observed fingerprints on the front glass door and requested that CSI come to the store for follow-up. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Division.

Residential Burglary: Between 8 a.m. and 7:10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16; 200 block of 28th Street

At 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 16, a resident of the 200 block of 28th Street near Church left her apartment locked and secured with the exception of one bedroom window, which she left open about three inches. When she returned home at 7:10 p.m., the home was still locked, but she noticed several items missing, including a laptop computer, two Nikon cameras, and $10 in change. Police determined that the point of entry and exit was the bedroom window, and requested that CSI come to the home for further investigation. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Division.

Assault with Knife: 4:35 p.m. on Friday, July 26; Upper Noe Recreation Center (also called Day Street Park), 30th and Sanchez streets

A fight involving several male juveniles broke out around 4 p.m. on Friday, July 26, at the playground within Upper Noe Recreation Center at Day and Sanchez streets. By the time police arrived at 4:35 p.m., the altercation had ended. Nearby, on the 1600 block of Sanchez Street, police found a large group of people standing around, watching paramedics treat a 17-year-old male who had been stabbed in the abdomen with a knife. The youth, who lives near the park, said he had attempted to break up the fight. He was taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was admitted. Paramedics also treated a 20-year-old male allegedly involved in the original skirmish. He had been stabbed with a screwdriver and received a one-inch cut to the left side of his ribcage. He was taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital, treated, and released.

Four other males, between the ages of 15 and 21, who are believed to be members of the so-called "31st Street Gang," were apprehended by police on the 1800 block of Church Street. Police called an ambulance for one of the four, a 21-year-old male, who had suffered two large cuts to his head. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, received 10 stitches, and was released.

Several witnesses identified a 15-year-old member of the group as the one who stabbed the 17-year-old youth with a knife. All four alleged gang members were taken to Mission Police Station for questioning. Three were released, while the 15-year-old male was arrested. At press time, the San Francisco District Attorney had filed charges against the youth, who was awaiting a court date.

Store Burglary: Between 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 29, and 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 30; 4100 block of 24th Street

The owner of a flower shop in the 4100 block of 24th Street locked the doors to her shop when she left for the day at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 29. When she returned at 8 a.m. the next day, she found the store's rear door broken in half and a shoe smudge on a portion of the door. The owner also discovered that $65 was missing from the store. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Division.

The Voice thanks Mission Police Officer Lorraine Lombardo, as well as Ingleside Sergeant Mikail Ali and Officer Mike Smith, for providing the incident reports for this month's Police Beat. The reports were summarized by Kathy Dalle-Molle.

How to Contact the SFPD

Noe Valley straddles two San Francisco police districts -- Mission and Ingleside -- each with its own turf. Mission Police Station covers the northern half of Noe Valley, from 21st Street to Cesar Chavez Street. Ingleside Police Station has jurisdiction over the southern half of Noe Valley, from Cesar Chavez Street to Glen Park.

Residents and merchants who live or work within the Mission Police District can report recurring crimes or safety problems by phoning the station at 558-5400. You may also send e-mail to Captain Greg Corrales at gregory_corrales or attend police-community meetings held the last Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m., at Mission Station, 630 Valencia Street. (To report anonymously on drugs, gangs, or other crime, call the nontraceable hotline at 558-5452.)

Residents and merchants in "outer" Noe Valley -- south of Cesar Chavez -- can contact Ingleside Station by calling 404-4000 or e-mailing Captain Kevin Dillon at The Ingleside police-community meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at Ingleside Station, 1 Sergeant John Young Lane, near the 2000 block of San Jose Avenue. The next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m.

To report a crime in progress, call 911. (Cell phone users, dial 553-8090.)