Thursday: Northeast Bernal Crime and Safety Meeting with SFPD Capt. McFadden


As Bernalwood has previously reported, the residents of northeast Bernal are experiencing a particularly intense spike in crime. Meanwhile, the geography is such that our northeastern Bernalese neighbors live on the edge of two SFPD precincts, two supervisorial districts, and US101 (which is managed by Caltrans).  The net result is that their situation hasn’t gotten much attention from local officials.

To change that, an ad hoc group of local residents recently formed the Northeast Bernal Neighbors Alliance and scheduled a community meeting with SFPD Ingleside’s Capt. McFadden for Thursday evening, January 21,  to discuss what can be done.

Neighbor Ryan writes:

Northeast Bernal folk, as you’ve likely heard (and probably noticed), our neighborhood has become victim to a growing amount of crime. Car break-ins, burglaries, and now even violent crime are on the rise.

We’ve set up a community meeting and invited Capt. McFadden from SFPD Ingleside to learn about some new crime-fighting proposals for our neighborhood.

What: Crime & Safety Meeting
When: Thursday., January 21, 2016, 7pm
Where: Precita Center (Upstairs Classroom), 534 Precita Ave.

Hope to see you there!

The Northeast Bernal Neighbor’s Alliance is a new community group being formed to improve the quality of life and reduce crime in our neighborhood. Join us! Even if you can’t attend the meeting, please sign up here.


IMAGE: Top, Bernal Heights crime heat map for the period from November 18, 2015 to January 18, 2016

Your Bernal Heights Crime Update for January 2016


It’s a new year, with new data on local crime patterns. So for that, let’s go to Bernal’s valiant SFPD liaisons, Neighbors Edie and Sarah, who attended the most recent Ingleside Police District Monthly Community Meeting, held just before the holiday break. Over to you, Neighbor Edie…

Ingleside Police District Monthly Community Meeting
December 15, 2015

Captain’s Report by Captain Joseph McFadden:
(Notes taken by volunteer Edie Williams, who is entirely responsible for any errors)

  • SF SAFE and the SFPD have published a handy brochure on personal and property safety, preventing pick-pocketing and identity theft. There are copies in the Bernal Library and the Bernal Heights Community Center, or download one here.You can find more safety information from SF SAFE.

Recent Local Police Activity:

Bernal Heights has been seeing a lot of nefarious activity, due to the city’s attempt to push homeless residents away from the area of the Super Bowl, and thanks our easy access on and off the freeways at Bayshore / Cesar Chavez or Bayshore / Alemany.

Large encampments of homeless people are located at Highland Bridge and under the freeway at Cesar Chavez, with tents, bikes, and cardboard packaging (which police believe may have originally been packages stolen off neighbors’ porches.) There’s a SPFD lieutenant in charge of homelessness, and police are issuing citations for homelessness, but the courts are not putting them in the system, and there’s no place to put people in treatment if they were in the system–no treatment beds available, and way too many people waiting for them already.

Teens have been hanging out and partying in the area near the encampments, and in December there was a gang-related shooting on Holladay at Peralta. This may have been a setup, since the Norteño gang seems to be fighting even among themselves. What to do: The Captain asks that if you see any teen party or gang activity, call police dispatch immediately and ask for them to come check it out. If there’s no response, call the Ingleside station main number, (415) 404-4000, ask to speak to the PC-Platoon Commander, and tell them you’re still waiting for a police response.

Shooting of Mario Woods in the Bayview has generated a great deal of controversy, especially after the publication of video taken at the time of his death. The Captain believes that tasers would enable police to escalate force without killing the person involved, although tasers don’t always work, as they have to make contact with two points of skin to have impact. While the use of tasers is being discussed, the police have been issued shields for self protection.

Body cameras are coming, though not at the beginning of 2016. Police are currently developing protocols and policies for the circumstances police will wear the cameras, whether filming will include audio and visual or just visual, and how and where the data will be stored and used. They will then set up a pilot program in the BayView, Ingleside, Tenderloin, and the Mission. They must evaluate cameras, select a vendor, and then plan for ongoing future expenses for data storage and updating, etc.

The Ingleside has license plate readers on two patrol cars, which they’ve used to identify several stolen cars and arrest the drivers.

McLaren Park has seen a crowd of neighborhood motorcross bike riders ride through the park. There’s also a large group from Oakland that comes to SF and rides around the neighborhoods. Many are juveniles, they don’t wear helmets, and police believe it might be more dangerous to chase them and have them get hurt than not. Leaders in Viz Valley are identifying kids with bikes, and police will be notifying the families that if the kids are caught they’ll take away the bikes. What to do? Call the police if you see them start up, so the police can stop them before they’re out of control.

The “Wig bandit,” known for wandering through the upper Noe casing houses, was caught within a few hours once videos of him were on the news. Unfortunately, one resident chased him out of their house, but never called the police. He did report it on NextDoor, however. Please remember, Police are not monitoring NextDoor for calls for assistance. If you are the victim of or witness to a crime or potential crime, call the police directly before you post to social media. Contact phone numbers are below (and in the Bernalwood sidebar)

Videos are used frequently now as tools to help victims, witnesses, and the police. If you have installed a video camera, you can register it online with the SF District Attorney. The DA’s office will map the addresses into a database, so that when a crime is committed, the police can check the map, ask camera owners for a copy of their video, and possibly use the video as evidence in a trial. If you’re thinking of buying a video camera, the Captain recommends that you buy one that has a high enough resolution to convince a jury. Many cameras come with a 7-day loop, so have extra CDs and learn how to download the video.

Problems Neighbors Are Reporting:

Neighbors report groups are gathering and lighting bonfires behind Pacific Super off Alemany. Police will investigate.

If you notice daily repeat traffic problems, email a description of them to the Captain. He’ll set up enforcement campaigns.

Monthly meetings are held the third Thursday of the month in the Ingleside Police Station meeting room, then the following month at a changing neighborhood site. If you have any suggestions for meeting areas (with some parking) within the Ingleside community, please let the captain know.

Upcoming Meeting Dates:

  • January: Wednesday, Jan 20th, 7-8:30 pm, Upper Noe Rec Center, 295 Day St. at 30th.
  • February: Tuesday, February 16th, 7-8:30 pm, Ingleside Police Station, 1 Sgt. John V Young Lane
  • March: Date to be announced, Jewish Home of SF, 302 Silver Ave at Mission.

SPFD Ingleside Contacts:
Emergency, dial: 911
Non-Emergency: (415) 553-0123
Tip Line: (415) 575-4444
Precinct phone (415) 404-4000

District Station Website

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

UPDATED: Toddler Injured During Despicable Daytime Robbery and Assault


A little after 3 pm last Friday, Jan. 8, a 2 year-old child in a stroller was injured during an armed robbery on Cortland Avenue near Prospect. KCBS reports:

San Francisco police said the assault took place at around 3:18 p.m. on Friday near the intersection of Cortland and Prospect avenues in the city.

Investigators said the man drove up in a black sedan, exited the vehicle with a gun and approached the woman. He knocked over a stroller, injuring the 2-year-old who hit her head on the sidewalk.

He then ripped the woman’s purse from her neck, demanded money and then struck her on the arm with his handgun.

The suspect then grabbed a tablet from the child and fled from the scene in the sedan, police said.

Both the mother and daughter were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Bernalwood is relieved that mother and daughter are doing okay, and we will update this story as additional details become available.

UPDATE, 10:30 am: Neighbor Sarah provides additional detail from Captain McFadden of SFPD’s Ingleside Station:

This happened near the community garden walkway at Cortland and Prospect. A woman was walking with her 2-year-old in a stroller. A car pulled up, and a juvenile (approx 13/14 years old) jumped out to grab the woman’s bag. In the struggle, the stroller got knocked over. The juvenile also took the kid’s tablet, then jumped back in the car, which sped off eastward.

The police believe they have an idea of where the juvenile may live – they think it may be one of the nearby public housing developments. The 2-year-old is OK, though I’m sure the whole experience was very frightening.  As reported, this was in the daytime, too – so rather surprising.

Tis the Season to Beware of Parcel-Delivery Grinches


Fa-la-la-la-la / la-la-la-la, and ho-ho-ho, and a seasonal reminder: Keep an eye on any packages you get delivered to your home in the weeks ahead, or have them shipped to your workplace instead, because the holidays are prime season for grinchy parcel thieves.

Neighbor Lyndsey describes how a parcel theft unfolded near Holly Park a few days ago:

Hi Neighbors –

Just sitting here on the couch with the hubby watching TV and we heard what sounded like packages getting delivered – at 10:30 pm.

Then we heard our neighbor yelling at someone and turns out some guy was taking packages and mail from door steps all along our street near Holly Park. Our neighbor didn’t get a good look at the guy other than he was about 6 feet tall or so.

Turns out UPS delivered a package sometime this evening and didn’t even ring our bell. I’m going to leave a note to delivery folks to not leave packages on our steps now (definitely not convenient) but better than having things dropped and then stolen! :-(

Be on the lookout and hopefully with our neighbor and my husband yelling and running after the guy, he won’t be back. Best not to leave packages for the taking. Take care neighbors!!


Fatal Shooting Escalates East Bernal Crime Wave


A few weeks ago, Neighbor Daniel alerted us to a troubling wave of property crime plaguing residents on Holliday Avenue, along Bernal’s eastern slope. Yesterday, the crime wave turned violent, as Neighbor Eric tells Bernalwood about a shooting that took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning:

Wondering if you heard anything about the shots last night below the retaining wall on Holladay Ave? They woke me up at 3:20am. Then saw a man and a woman walking northbound around the corner onto Peralta talking loudly. This morning there is crime scene tape thoughtfully left like litter by, I can only assume, SFPD.

The SF Appeal carried a brief description of the incident, with a few more details:

[The] shooting was reported at 3:20 a.m. in the 100 block of Holladay Avenue in Bernal Heights via a SpotShotter gunshot detection system activation, police said.

Police did not find the victim, a 17-year-old male, at the scene, but later learned he had been taken to San Francisco General Hospital by friends. His injuries are considered life-threatening, police said.

Your SFPD liaison, the fabulous Neighbor Sarah, reached out to Capt. McFadden from Ingleside Station to learn more about the incident. Capt. McFadden said:

The shooting appears unrelated in any way to the homeless encampment [under the US101/Cesar Chavez interchange] and is being investigated by our Gang Task Force. It appears that there are a group of juveniles who have chosen the area of Holladay and Peralta to hang out. My patrol and undercover units will be paying a lot of attention to the area in an effort to disperse any future gatherings.

Please advise neighbors to call immediately [415-553-0123]when people begin to congregate in the area so that we can quickly respond and identify those involved. It is of utmost importance to give a detailed description of subjects and their vehicles for the responding officers.

UPDATE: In the comments, Neighbor Shane adds that the victim in the shooting incident later passed away at the hospital.

PHOTO: Crime scene on Holliday Ave. on Wednesday morning, by Neighbor Eric

Northeast Bernal Neighbor Exasperated by Property Crime


Neighbor Daniel lives on Holliday Avenue in northeast Bernal, just above the US101/Cesar Chavez interchange. He says property crime in that corner of the neighborhood is getting out of hand.

Neighbor Daniel tells Bernalwood:

We have had a rash of crime, especially car burglaries involving my car and cars none of my neighbors recognize. I’ve written Captain McFadden and Supervisor David Campos about it. Here is the letter I sent:

From: Daniel
Date: November 30, 2015
To: “”
Subject: Bernal Heights Crime

Dear Captain McFadden,

I, Daniel W. – homeowner at XXXX Holladay Avenue, am writing to express my concern with the recent car burglaries and other crime on Holladay avenue in Bernal Heights. The first incident occurred on November 9, 2015; a car burglary I witnessed resulting in an arrest by SFPD.

The second car burglary incident occurred on Holladay avenue today November 30, 2015. This incident was called in by my neighbor at  XXX Holladay Avenue. The perpetrator of this incident involved him threatening my elderly neighbor and resulting in his arrest. The arresting officer stated the SFPD had found a weapon in the car, and the weapon had previously been used to commit a crime.

A month and a half ago ago, my car was broken into on Holladay avenue. I did not call the police regarding that incident.

Several months ago, I had to call the police when a homeless couple with a dangerous dog were walking in my neighborhood creating a public safety issue. The responding officer had to discharge his weapon to stop the dog and apprehend the suspects.

I am very concerned with this uptick in crime in my neighborhood. I do not feel safe, and I would like to know what SFPD plans to do with regards to the rash of crime on my street in Bernal Heights.



PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Help a Bernal Artist Find the Art That Was Stolen With Her Car


You might remember Neighbor Carrie Ann Plank; she played a starring role last April’s post about Bernal Heights artists at the Hunter’s Point Shipyard. Well, Neighbor Carrie Ann’s car was stolen on Saturday night, and some of her art was in it.  Grrrrrrrr.

She tells Bernalwood:

My car was stolen from in front of the house last night over on Bronte. I’m an artist, and unfortunately, several pieces of valuable artwork were inside the car.

Car thieves probably are not interested in art pieces, so I’m hoping they were dumped somewhere nearby. Can we put out a call to my fellow Bernal dwellers in case anyone sees them? I’m desperately hoping my good neighbors have some information that may lead to recovery! Additionally, I’m the artist in residence currently at Bullseye Glass and all of my notes and sketches were in the trunk. Would love to get those back too!

Fingers crossed! Thank you for the assist in getting the word out.

Here are the details:
2007 graphite Prius with a carseat, and here’s a few images of the missing work: