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By Erin O'Briant
San Francisco Police recorded 96 incidents in Noe Valley during the month of August. That number included 17 burglaries of stores, apartment houses, and single-family homes scattered throughout the neighborhood. Twelve drug-related charges were reported (see story at right), many of them concentrated north of 24th Street.
Larceny continued apace, with 23 incidents of theft--many from automobiles--and 26 vehicle thefts. As usual, vehicle thefts were concentrated on the eastern side of the neighborhood; six of them happened on Dolores Street. The area near Alvarado School at Alvarado and Douglass streets was also a target of car thieves. Vandals struck several times.
The outbreak of street robberies that began in recent months showed no sign of slowing in August, when eight robberies took place in Noe Valley. A person waiting for the bus at Church and Day streets in the early hours of Saturday, Aug. 5, was robbed at gunpoint. Just after midnight on Sunday, Aug. 20, two suspects--one armed with a knife and the other with a baseball bat--approached their victim at Duncan and Church streets. They took the person's money and fled.
A robbery with a gun, in conjunction with domestic violence, took place at 23rd and Douglass streets; police arrested the suspect. Another street robbery with a gun happened at 24th and Diamond streets. Strongarm robberies happened at 24th and Fair Oaks streets, in the 1200 block of Dolores Street, and at Clipper and Sanchez streets. A suspect, who was later arrested, used bodily force to rob a store in the 1300 block of Castro Street in the late afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 23.
The use of guns was not limited to robberies: An aggravated assault with a gun took place at 26th and Church streets in the early morning of Sunday, Aug. 13.
More Arrests Made
In addition to the robbery arrests, police made several other arrests in Noe Valley. On the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 1, several officers responded to a report of juveniles breaking the emblems off of cars in the 200 block of 30th Street. One of the juveniles had an emblem on him; he was cited for receiving stolen property, and the other suspects were detained but released. Police found screwdrivers and other tools discarded in the area.
Two juvenile suspects were arrested after breaking into a house on Elizabeth Street between Vicksburg and Church streets on Sunday, Aug. 20. One of the boys was standing outside as a lookout; officers arrested him upon arrival and arrested his accomplice while he was trying to flee the premises. Witnesses identified the suspects.
When officers responded to a report of a suspicious person in the 100 block of Valley Street in the early hours of Thursday, Aug. 24, they found and arrested a juvenile who was wanted on a no-bail juvenile warrant from San Mateo County charging auto theft and receiving stolen property. On the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 29, an officer went to Valley and Church streets on a report of a drunken man threatening passersby with a screwdriver. The suspect, who is homeless, was arrested.
The Voice thanks Noe Valley Police Officer Andrew MacIlrath for his help in providing information for this month's Police Beat.
How to Contact the SFPD
The public is invited to attend police-community meetings held monthly at the Ingleside and Mission Police Stations. Ingleside meetings take place on the third Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., at Ingleside Station, 1 Sgt. John Young Lane, off the 2000 block of San Jose Avenue. Mission community meetings are held on the last Tuesday of the month, 6 p.m., at Mission Station, 630 Valencia Street near 17th Street.
Noe Valleyans who live north of Cesar Chavez Street (within the bounds of the Mission Police District) may contact Mission Station by calling 558-5400 or e-mailing SFPDMissionStation@ci.sf .ca.us. To report anonymously on drugs, gangs, or other crimes, call Mission Station's hotline at 575-4444.
Residents and merchants in Upper Noe Valley--south of Cesar Chavez Street--may contact Ingleside police by calling 404-4000 or e-mailing SFPDInglesideStation@ci.sf.ca.us. The Ingleside anonymous tip line is 587-8984.
For citywide online reporting, go to www.sfgov.org/site/police.
To sign up for Ingleside Station's daily crime e-newsletter, e-mail Ingleside Capt. Paul Chignell at Paul.Chignell @sfgov.org. To request the Mission e-newsletter, write Capt. John Goldberg at SFPDMissionStation@ci.sf.ca.us.
To report a crime in progress, call 911. To report a non-emergency event or problem, call 553-0123.
Ways to Prevent Car Theft
By Jon Shephard, SAFE
(Safety Awareness for Everyone)
Have you ever parked your car in a large parking lot or garage, only to return without seeing it immediately? At first, you are annoyed. But as you continue to look for your car, the annoyance is suddenly replaced by fear of auto theft, as you see your parking place empty or another vehicle replacing yours in your parking space.
Or, somewhat lower on the aggravation scale is discovering that someone smashed your window and entered your car to steal items you left inside. This lesser aggravation, called auto burglary, is also known by its slang term: "auto-boosting."
Here are measures you can take to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of both of these crimes, by preventing access to the car or by slowing down the time it takes for the criminal to do his dirty deed.
g Close and lock car doors and windows (including the sun roof). If you leave an animal in the car, open a window as little as possible, but still open it enough to prevent overheating and suffocation.
g Never leave your vehicle with the engine running--not even for a second. Theft happens quickly, and the stolen car is more valuable with the key inside with an intact ignition. Also, do not leave a hidden key inside or outside your car. The thieves know where to find it.
g Leave nothing, valuable or not, in your car. Especially attractive targets are money, credit cards, cell phones, other electronic equipment, or even compact discs. Anything visible can attract the thief's attention.
g At home, park your car in your locked garage or driveway, rather than in the street. Otherwise, park where there is plenty of light and traffic, with people living or walking nearby. This creates potential witnesses and light for them to see thief, who will look for a more attractive target. Also, when you park on the street, curb your wheels, with your breaks on, and the transmission in Park. Make it hard for your car to be moved or towed. Also, never leave you garage door control device in your car.
g Use anti-theft devices (like the Club, alarms, disabling devices for steering, breaks, ignition, motor, etc.) and activate them when you park the car. Use special license plate locking screws to make it hard for thieves to remove your license plate during a theft.
g Remove papers with your name and address from your vehicle. Keep your car registration certificate with you and the title (pink slip) outside the car in a secure location. Do not have your name and address on your car keys.
For more information about these and other ways to prevent auto theft, contact SAFE at 553-1984 or www.sfsafe@org.
Drug Arrests Getting HighIn August of 2005, no drug-related incidents were reported in Noe Valley at all. A year later, the August 2006 police log records 12 such cases, up from five in July of this year. Because the police log classifies all incidents related to a drug activity as a narcotics incident, however, those 12 reports actually relate to five drug cases in the neighborhood. All of the suspects were arrested.
A drug-related incident took place on Elizabeth Street the morning of Friday, Aug. 4 (the Voice does not publish block numbers for drug-related offenses because they might attract drug solicitations). Police arrested the suspect for possession of cocaine for sales and for resisting arrest and a traffic violation.
At about 2 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6, a person was arrested on 26th Street for transportation and possession of methamphetamines for sale. In an unrelated incident on the same street the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 13, police arrested a suspect for possession of marijuana and being under the influence of alcohol in a public place.
That same day at approximately 11 p.m., police booked a juvenile for possession of rock-base (crack) cocaine for sale on 20th Street. The juvenile was also booked for conspiracy and a traffic violation.
On the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 23, a person was arrested on Castro Street in Noe Valley for petty theft and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.
Nearby Glen Park had no drug-related incidents during August 2006, while north of Noe Valley another 12 drug citations were issued in Mission Dolores, a neighborhood the San Francisco Police Department describes as bordered by Market, Valencia, Church, and 20th streets.