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Police Beat is a monthly roundup of crimes and other police incidents in Noe Valley, which is defined as the area bordered by Grand View, 21st, Fair Oaks, and 30th streets. The following crime summaries were culled from incident reports filed at Mission and Ingleside police stations during May 2003.
Robbery of Commercial Establishment: 11:20 p.m. on Friday, May 2; 3800 block of 24th Street
Approximately 50 male and female youths attempted to enter a small grocery store on 24th Street near Church at about quarter after 11 on Friday night, May 2. The owner of the market, worried that "something would happen," began to close and lock the store's front door. As he was closing the door, four youths forced their way inside, pushed the owner, and went to the liquor shelves to take some bottles. As the owner was using the store phone to call police, he was grabbed by a male youth, who pushed him again. The youths then took six bottles of tequila, six bottles of brandy, and one bottle of cognac. The owner pushed the silent robbery alarm button several times, and the youths ran out of the store in various directions.
After arriving on the scene, police officers searched the area but did not find the suspects. The owner of the store told police he had some pain in his left shoulder from being grabbed, but he refused medical treatment. The case has been assigned to the San Francisco Police Department's Robbery Detail.
Residential Burglary: Between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Monday, May 5; 400 block of Valley Street
A resident of the 400 block of Valley Street near Castro locked and left his home at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, May 5. When he returned that evening, he found his second-story bedroom window wide open and his laptop computer missing from his home office. The resident told police that he usually left his bedroom window slightly ajar and that he believed the suspect used a ladder to gain access to the window, as all the doors to the home were still locked and undisturbed. Due to lack of physical evidence, police did not contact Crime Scene Investigations for follow-up. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Burglary of Church Building: Between 10 p.m. and midnight on Thursday, May 8; 1000 block of Sanchez Street
At midnight on Thursday, May 8, an employee of a church building in the 1000 block of Sanchez Street near 23rd received a call from the building's alarm company notifying him that the alarm had sounded. When he got to the building, the employee noticed that the hinges on a closet door had been pried open and the lock damaged. Nothing was missing from the closet, and there were no signs of forced entry. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Petty Theft: 5:45 p.m. on Friday, May 9, and 4:20 p.m. on Saturday, May 24; 3900 block of 24th Street
At 5:45 p.m. on Friday, May 9, a man entered a grocery store in the 3900 block of 24th Street between Sanchez and Noe and removed six packages of Gillette razor cartridges from a shelf. The man then placed the packages in his pants leg and exited the store without paying. A store security officer apprehended the man and called police. Police took the suspect to Mission Station for booking. A records search revealed that the man, who is homeless, had two outstanding arrest warrants and multiple previous arrests for petty theft, as well as one for grand theft.
Two weeks later, on the afternoon of Saturday, May 24, another theft occurred in the same grocery store. This time, a man entered the store, picked up a shopping basket, put a few food items in it, and then walked to the liquor aisle. He took four bottles of vodka from the shelf and went to another aisle to conceal the alcohol underneath his clothing. He left the store without paying and was detained by a store security officer. The suspect was taken to Mission Station for booking. A records search revealed that this suspect also had a previous arrest record. Both cases have been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Theft from Locked Vehicle: Between 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 11, and 6 a.m. on Monday, May 12; 400 block of Fair Oaks Street
A Noe Valley resident parked and locked his Mercedes-Benz sedan at 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 11, in the 400 block of Fair Oaks Street near 25th. When he returned to his car the next morning, he found his trunk unlocked and his set of King Cobra golf clubs, valued at $2,200, missing from inside the trunk. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Auto Detail.
Burglary of Church Building: Between 11 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, and 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 14; and between 5 p.m. on Friday, May 23, and 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 24; 1200 block of Sanchez Street
An employee of a church building in the 1200 block of Sanchez Street near Clipper secured the building when he left at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13. When the minister of the church arrived at 8:30 a.m. the next day, she found that the door leading from the church to her office had been forced open and that the lock on the door had been bent away from the frame. In addition, a door leading from the minister's office to Sanchez Street was unlocked and slightly ajar. The minister also discovered that an acoustic Simon & Patrick guitar and a digital camera were missing from her office. Some of her desk drawers had been opened, but nothing was taken. Police believe the suspect entered the building through a window, which had inadvertently been left unlocked.
A week and a half later, another theft occurred in the church building. This time, the suspect entered the building sometime between 5 p.m. on Friday, May 23, and 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, and took a conga drum from the stage area. Both cases have been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
"Hot Prowl" Burglary of House: Between 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14, and 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 15; 1300 block of Sanchez Street
A resident of the 1300 block of Sanchez Street near 26th left her downstairs home office at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14, locking all doors and then going upstairs to sleep. When she returned to the office at 9 a.m. the next day, she discovered that the door leading from her home to her backyard was open. Two hours later, she noticed that her Sony video camcorder was missing from the desk in her office.
The "hot prowl" case--so-called because the break-in and burglary occurred while the victim was at home--has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
"Hot Prowl" Burglary of Apartment House: 3:02 p.m. on Thursday, May 15; 4000 block of 25th Street
Just after 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, a resident of the 4000 block of 25th Street near Clipper came home from work, entered his bedroom, and heard someone behind him. He turned around and saw a man carrying a bag. The resident punched the suspect in the face and knocked him onto the bed. The resident then picked up a knife and told the suspect to empty the bag and leave through the back door. The suspect instead grabbed a large amount of coins from the bag and ran out the back door. The resident then dropped the knife and chased the suspect outside and around the corner, but lost him after a few blocks. He returned home and called police.
Police were unable to locate any signs of forced entry, and Crime Scene Investigations was not called for follow-up. The suspect is described as a white male, aged 20 to 25, 58109, 160 pounds, with short brown hair and a piercing above his right eyebrow. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Theft from Locked Vehicle: Between 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, and 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 16; 200 block of Duncan Street
At 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, a Noe Valley resident locked and parked his Honda Civic sedan in the 200 block of Duncan Street near Dolores. When he returned the next morning, he found a small object inside the driver's-side door lock which prevented him from opening the door. He entered the car through the passenger side and discovered that his car stereo was missing from the dashboard. He also noticed that the faceplate of the stereo, which he had detached and put in the glove compartment, was missing along with six CDs. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Auto Detail.
Petty Theft: 2:40 p.m. on Friday, May 16; 4000 block of 24th Street
Mid-afternoon on Friday, May 16, a man dressed as a woman entered a women's clothing store in the 4000 block of 24th Street and browsed around the store for a few minutes. At one point, he took a black leather jacket from the display rack, placed it under his armpit, and continued to look at other items. While the sales clerk was helping another customer, the man left the store with the jacket, which he had not paid for. The clerk followed him to another women's clothing store on the same block. As soon as the man saw the clerk, he fled that store, got into a car parked nearby, and drove away.
The suspect is described as an African-American male, aged 30 to 35, 58109, 180 pounds. He has straight, shoulder-length black hair with red highlights, and was last seen wearing a blue striped dress and a large diamond ring on his left ring finger. He was driving a 2001 blue four-door Chevrolet Malibu. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Residential Burglary: Between 3:45 and 11 p.m. on Friday, May 16; 100 block of Valley Street
At 11 p.m. on Friday, May 16, a resident returned to his home in the 100 block of Valley Street near Dolores, after being away since late afternoon, and found that his loaded 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun was missing from beneath his bed. He searched his home and found an open window in a spare bedroom and also noticed that a sliding glass door was unlocked and that the dowel he had used to secure the door was not in the track of the door where he had left it. Crime Scene Investigations was called for follow-up. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Burglary of Apartment House: Between 9:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Monday, May 19; 300 block of 30th Street
The resident of an apartment building in the 300 block of 30th Street near Church left her home at 9:15 a.m., locking all doors except one in the rear of the house that leads to the garage. The resident also did not lock a window in an upstairs bedroom. When she returned around noon, she found the side door to the garage open. She then went upstairs and discovered that several items, including computer equipment, a gold wedding band, and three Nikon cameras, were missing.
Police believe the suspect entered the apartment through the unlocked bedroom window and exited through the garage door. Crime Scene Investigations was called for follow-up. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Purse Theft: 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27; 200 block of 29th Street
A resident of the 200 block of 29th Street near Dolores arrived at her home at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27. She put her purse on the ground beside her front door while she went to the side of the house to turn on a hose. When she returned two minutes later, the purse and all of its contents, including her wallet, $80, personal identification, and credit cards, were gone. The case has been assigned to Mission Police Station.
Theft from Locked Vehicle: Between 6:30 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28; 29th and Sanchez streets
At 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, a Noe Valley resident locked the doors and windows of his 1979 BMW sedan and parked the car on 29th Street near Sanchez. When he returned to the car later that night, he discovered that the right front window had been pried open and that a black leather jacket, black North Face backpack, and his driver's license and Social Security card were missing. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Auto Detail.
Purse Theft: 5:39 p.m. on Saturday, May 31; 29th and Dolores streets
At 5:39 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, a woman was walking eastbound on 29th Street from Dolores. She was holding her purse in her hand and a female friend was walking next to her when she felt someone pull her purse from behind her. When she turned around, she saw a man with her purse running westbound toward a waiting car on the same block. The woman tried to chase the suspect, but he jumped into the backseat of the car, which sped off toward San Jose Avenue. The purse contained the woman's Social Security and identification cards and house keys.
Several police officers searched the area but did not find the suspect. The reporting police officer requested that patrol cars make frequent passes by the woman's home because the suspect had her ID and house keys. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Robbery Detail.
The Voice thanks Mission Station Lieutenant Roger Battaglia and Ingleside Police Officer Mike Smith for providing the incident reports for this month's Police Beat. The reports were summarized by Kathy Dalle-Molle.
Your Links to the SFPD
Noe Valley residents and merchants are invited to attend police-community meetings held monthly in the Mission and Ingleside police districts.
The next meeting at Mission Station will be Tuesday, July 29, 6 p.m., at 630 Valencia Street near 17th Street.
The next Ingleside meeting will be Tuesday, July 15, 7 p.m., at Ingleside Station, 1 Sgt. John Young Lane, off the 2000 block of San Jose Avenue.
Meanwhile, those who live or work north of Cesar Chavez Street can report recurring problems by phoning Mission Station at 558-5400 or e-mailing Captain Greg Corrales at gregory_corrales@ ci.sf.ca.us. (To report anonymously on drugs, gangs, or other crimes, call the non-traceable 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report a crime in progress, call 911. (Cell phone users, dial 553-8090.) To talk to San Francisco police about a non-emergency situation, call 553-0123.