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By Officer Jane Warner
San Francisco Patrol Special Police
The following crime summaries were culled from reports filed at Mission Police Station on Valencia Street. They cover some but not all incidents occurring in Noe Valley from Oct. 16 through Nov. 18, 2007.
Vandalism to Vehicle: 4400 block of 24th, 10-16-07, 6:30 p.m.
While walking home, a woman noticed a man leaning against the hood of her vintage 1967 Dodge Coronet. The man had several tools attached to his belt and she was afraid he would scratch the paint. "Off the Dodge," the woman told the man as she walked by. The man slowly moved away from the car and then told her, "Don't tell me what to do." There was nothing else said between the two, and the woman went inside her house. A short time later, she went outside to get something out of her car and discovered the antenna had been snapped off. Although there were no witnesses to the vandalism, the woman reported to police that she believed the responsible person was the same individual she told to get off her car. The suspect was described as a white male in his 40s.
Theft: 1300 block of Castro, 10-17-07, 1:18 p.m.
While inside a drugstore on Castro Street, a woman placed her $300 Palm Pilot in the basket of her shopping cart. The woman left momentarily to retrieve items that she had coupons for. When she returned, her Palm was missing. The woman quickly looked around for any suspects but found none. A theft report was filed with Mission Station.
Burglary: 1300 block of Castro, 10-20-07, 11 a.m.
When the clerk of a Castro Street bookstore arrived for work one Saturday morning, she put her purse in the back office and prepared for the day. A couple of hours after the store had been opened, she went to the office to get something and discovered several drawers to a desk were open. Alarmed, the clerk checked the drawers and discovered a deposit envelope from the day before, containing $500, was missing, and so was her wallet from her purse. After calling police, the employee received a call from a frequent customer, who told her that he had found several store receipts on the ground at Noe and Market and a bank deposit envelope, absent any money. The employee told responding police that the customer bathroom was next to the store's office, which was seldom locked. There are no known suspects.
Theft: 29th and Diamond, 10-21-07,
A woman parked her car on the street and went on vacation. When she returned about a month later, she noticed there were fresh scratches on the rear bumper of her Acura TL. Upon closer examination, she found the glove box had been rummaged through, various personal items were out of place, and $40 hidden in the ashtray was missing. There was no evidence of forced entry and the doors were still locked. When the woman opened the trunk of her car, she found her license plates lying on the carpet; plates the woman did not recognize were fastened to her car. The woman went to Mission Station to report the theft. A computer check revealed the plates put on her car were reported stolen. There are no known suspects.
Attempted Vehicle Burglary/Arrest: Vicksburg at 25th, 10-28-07, 4:11 a.m.
Officers responded to a call of someone breaking into a blue Mazda M3. Upon arrival, officers saw a man sitting in the driver's seat of the vehicle who matched the caller's description. Officers ordered the man out of the car and placed him in handcuffs. "My mom kicked me out of the house, and I was just trying to find somewhere to sleep," the suspect explained. Officers searched the vehicle--which had been ransacked--located the registration, and called the owner, who responded to the scene. After the owner examined and found nothing missing from her vehicle, she told officers she might have left the car unlocked when she retrieved a baby stroller earlier in the evening. The suspect, 27, was transported to Mission Station, where he was booked for attempted auto burglary and three outstanding warrants.
Robbery with Gun: 4000 block of 24th, 10-30-07, 7:05 p.m.
While talking on a cell phone, a man walked into an electronics store on 24th Street and approached the two clerks standing behind the counter. As he got closer, he pulled out a small handgun from his waistband and held it to his side. "Shut up and give me the money," he demanded. Fearing for their lives, the clerks handed over the money from the cash register, about $250. The suspect continued to talk on his cell phone while barking orders to the clerks. After taking the money, the robber walked out of the store and turned westbound on 24th Street. Responding police searched the area but could not find the suspect, described as African American, 22 to 23 years old, 5'10, 170 pounds, and wearing a white and blue knit cap, a white and blue zip-up sweatsuit, dark jeans, and black sunglasses. The suspect may have driven a dark-colored Dodge Charger, which was seen prior to the robbery parked in the parking lot next to the store with its parking lights on.
Shoplifting: 3900 block of 24th, 11-16-07, 9:13 p.m.
While working loss prevention in a 24th Street supermarket, a security officer spotted a man inside the store whom she had arrested for shoplifting three times before. The undercover agent followed the man as he walked up and down the aisles, watching as he took a carton of milk, a cheesecake, a box of biscuit mix, two packages of ready-made salad, and a package of baby back ribs valued at over $17, and placed them into a shopping basket. The man then walked out of the store with the goods in hand, failing to pay for the items as he passed the checkout stands. The loss-prevention agent stopped the man in the parking lot without incident and placed him under arrest. Police soon arrived and transported the 39-year-old suspect to Mission Station, where he was issued a citation for shoplifting and given a court date to appear.
Vehicle Tampering: 1300 block of Dolores, 11-17-07, 7:10 a.m.
While walking down the street, a man saw another man acting suspicious and trying door handles of parked cars. The witness then observed the suspect trying the handle of a gray Toyota Prius, whose passenger side door had been left unlocked. The suspect got into the car and began to rummage through the contents. The witness called 911 as the suspect got out of the Toyota and continued down the street, trying door handles of other parked cars. As he followed the suspect from behind, the witness continued to give the 911 dispatcher directions. Police soon arrived and took the suspect into custody without incident. Officers searched the man for stolen property but found none, only a "crack" pipe in his pocket. The suspect, 34, was taken to Mission Station and booked for auto tampering and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Shoplifting: 1300 block of Castro, 11-18-07, 1:22 p.m.
A clerk at a clothing store on Castro near 24th Street noticed a man standing outside, looking at the display in the store's front window. A short time later, he came into the store and quickly went to the window display. As she helped another customer, the clerk lost sight of the man and saw that he had bent down on his hands and knees. Before she could approach him, however, the man got up and quickly left the store. A short time later, the man returned and did the same thing. This time, the clerk approached him and saw that he had a ring in his hand. "What's in your hand?" the clerk asked and saw that it was a ring from the window display. The clerk grabbed the ring out of his hand, and the man quickly walked out of the store with the clerk close behind. "I don't have anything else," the suspect told her and turned the pockets of his pants inside out to show her. The clerk pat-searched the rest of the suspect's clothing and, finding nothing, let him go. When the clerk got back to the store, she discovered that another ring was missing, along with several other pieces of custom jewelry. The suspect, described as a white male, 60 to 65 years old, 6'0, 180 pounds, unshaven with white hair and blue eyes, wearing a blue shirt with black pants, was last seen eastbound on 24th Street.
Patrol Special Officer Jane Warner walks a regular beat in Noe Valley. You can reach her by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 559-9955.
The SFPD Divides Us in Half
Noe Valley falls under the jurisdiction of two San Francisco police districts: Mission and Ingleside. Mission Police cover the northern half of the neighborhood, including 24th Street, and Ingleside Police the southern half, starting at Cesar Chavez Street.
Both districts hold monthly meetings that are open to the public. Mission Police District's community meetings are held on the last Tuesday of the month, at 6 p.m., at Mission Station, 630 Valencia Street near 17th Street. Ingleside's community meetings take place on the third Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., at Ingleside Police Station off Balboa Park at San Jose Avenue.
To speak to an officer at Mission Station, call 558-5400 or e-mail SFPDMissionStation@ci.sf.ca.us. The station's tip line for anonymous reporting of drug or gang activity is 392-2623. To contact Ingleside, call 404-4000 or e-mail SFPDInglesideStation@ci.sf.ca.us. The Ingleside anonymous tip line is 575-4444. For citywide online reporting, go to www.sfgov.org/site/police.
To report a crime in progress, call 911. For non-emergencies, call 553-0123.