Hide Your iPhone, Hide Your Car: The SFPD’s Bernal Crime Summary


What?! You couldn’t make it to the community meeting at the San Francisco Police Department’s Ingleside Station on Tuesday night to get some facetime with Captain Louis Cassanego? Lucky for you, reader Sarah attended… and she took some excellent notes. Here’s her invaluable summary of Captain Cassanego’s Bernal Heights crime report:

Notes from Community Meeting at Ingleside, 4/19/11

– There was a sexual assault in Crocker-Amazon Park around 4:30 on 4/1. An arrest has been made.

– They are still seeing lots of thefts of iPhones and iPods around Glen Park and Balboa Park BART stations. They have plainclothes officers at each station to try to catch the folks involved in this. Asian females seem to be common targets of the thieves. They think the people involved are from outside SF. Thieves can get $200 for an iPhone, so when you are using email or talking on your phone, it’s as if you were waving $200 around. Also, of course, you are distracted and more easily victimized. (The stolen phones are apparently often sold at 7th and Market, where there is a robust black market.)

– They are also seeing thefts on MUNI in which a thief grabs a victim’s purse /backpack/bag right as they are exiting through the back door of the bus.

– Burglaries are slightly down for the year. But 50% are front-door entry, meaning observant neighbors are especially essential.

– Auto thefts are high and trending up. Shaved keys can get a thief into a car in seconds, especially 1990s Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, and Acuras. Steering-wheel clubs strongly advised.

– Car break-ins are up 44% on the year. The most heavily targeted areas are Precita Park, Glen Park, Noe Valley, and Miraloma Park. Sparkplug chips can silently break glass, and thieves like quiet, winding streets where they can hear a police car coming blocks away. In one-third of break-ins, nothing is taken (because there is nothing to take).

– The fire at 3214 Mission on 4/6 was started by a cigarette and fed by the high winds that day.

– Police arrested a 14-year-old male in possession of an assault weapon on 4/18/11 – he was seen at 30th and San Jose behind the Safeway, and numerous people called 911. They now think he was also behind a recent robbery in which a similar weapon was used (Kel Tec 223, which is like an M-16).

I asked about Sergeant Miller, and he is returning to Ingleside in the next two weeks.

– I asked about the recent shooting on Holly Park at Appleton (a man was shot in his car around 6:30pm). They are looking into a drug deal gone bad and/or a gang connection. He couldn’t say much more about it at this time because the investigation is ongoing.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

30 thoughts on “Hide Your iPhone, Hide Your Car: The SFPD’s Bernal Crime Summary

  1. ya know, i thought this blog was cool until this upsurge in the white yuppie glorification of the police. newsflash: bernal heights was a historically black and latino neighborhood. the sfpd are the institutional arm of white upper middle class gentrification. the warm and cozy feeling you people get from the sfpd patrolling bernal is subsidized by the institutionalized racism that the sfpd serves to enforce.

    everyone who reads this blog would do well to also read george lipstiz’s “the possessive investment in whiteness.” white supremacy doesn’t only come in the form of creeps wearing white hoods….think about it.

    • You’re right. It’s actually cool when someone smashes my car window, and I shouldn’t be so uptight and racist about that aspect of local tradition.

      • i never said anything about whether it was cool or uncool if someone smashes your car window.

        i am referring to the love-fest for the sfpd on the bernalwood blog.

      • Then I think you are confusing cause with effect. There is no lovefest for the SFPD. (I’ve had my own run-ins with Sgt. Miller, for example.) But there’s no love for crime either, and if you go to neighborhood meetings (which I do when I can), folks are really sick of having their windows popped because someone needs a quick score. If you have suggestions for some way other than police protection to deal with problems like that, we’re all game to hear them. But until that magic wand is invented, the SFPD is the best tool we’ve got, and it’s hardly “glorification” to recognize that reality.

        As stated above… “In one-third of break-ins, nothing is taken (because there is nothing to take).” It doesn’t matter if there’s a dollar in the car or not. Criminals pop the window anyway, just to make sure there’s nothing hidden.

      • well, here are some tips:

        cut corporate welfare. redirect funds to those who have been dispossessed by gentrification, institutionalized racism/state designed poverty.

        “tool” is right. the only way to prevent crime is to be proactive about undoing the damage of systemic inequality. i don’t have to tell you about the insane wealth gap in this country, and i’m not just talking about between “the middle class” and the 1% oligarchy.

        this is a huge, nationwide problem. the crime of breaking someone’s car window for something so small as $1 in change has a long history of cause and effect, a lineage that cannot be traced to a single person’s split second decision. jim crow, reaganomics, restrictive covenance, corporate welfare, nafta, the list goes on. just read george lipsitz. then start to think of your own ways to undo all that damage. then put your lobby hat on and head to congress.

        good luck.

      • Okay. Got it. Next time one of my street-smart neighbors is pissed because their car window got smashed, I will do the following:

        I will urge them to cut corporate welfare, redirect funds to those who have been dispossessed by gentrification, and oppose institutionalized racism/state designed poverty.

        I will ask them to reconsider the systemic inequality that created the socioeconomic preconditions that necessitated the smashing of their car window.

        I will urge them to read George Lipstiz’s monograph on “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness,” (even if the owner of the car is black or Latino).

        That sounds like an excellent plan. Thank you.

      • that’s the spirit. just keep on keepin with that status quo of yours.

        seriously. take a cue from the arab world. get up, stand up. or are you too afraid that stopping the actual roots of crime will mean you will have to relinquish the privilege that got you that nice house and nice car?

      • Todd Laplin—being a regular contributor to this blog I think you would use a little more tact. Mocking the impact white privilege has on communities is in poor taste. And yes-I do think you should start asking your legislatures and community leaders to address these issues–have you read the book or are you just trying to look more educated. It doesn’t really matter whose cars are being broken into–the question is why are people breaking into cars? What are the stereotypes that lie behind and whose face pops up when you think of whose breaking into cars? Maybe more time should be spent making sure our public schools are well funded, at corporate welfare is being questioned, that the price of gentrification on people of color is revealed to its true extent — what a great way to use your Berkeley journalism degree.

  2. my point being, there are ways to be savvy about street crime that do not involve a glorification of police. anyone who lives in SF knows that if you leave so much as a dollar in change in plane view in your car, it will get broken into.

    and every white kid in this country is *taught* growing up that mr. police man is their friend, whereas every youth of color in this country *learns* that mr. police man is the violent enforcer of white supremacy.

    • hey (dumb) fuck,
      reporting on what the police do, and how to meet with them isnt glorifcation. one of the ways we can be savvy is communicating. Your commentary is naive and foolish. yes, lets take a cue from the arab world, because things are so good there!

      seriously, though, what is your point, boil it down to something that is coherent and doesnt sound like the rantings of a teenager who thinks they know best. Most people will not think much of you, when you just start off insulting them.

      Bernalwood is actually opening up the forum for people to communicate, so you can say your opinion, you may not share the same opinion as everyone else, but it does not mean you are right.

      • todd, lovely neighbors you have. such a pretty mouth on that one.

        “most people will not think much of you, when you just start off insulting them.” bravo, (dumb) fuck.

        the fact that you all are so bent by a little criticism that requires self reflection on your part would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic.

        @j: you and your fellow bernalwoodies have missed the point entirely. police will not keep you safe from crime. they are there to enforce the status quo that insures the continuation of the conditions that breed crime.

  3. Two assaults occurred on my otherwise peaceful block in the past couple of months. As much urban-awareness as I have, I feel differently about walking in my neighborhood, alone, after dark.

    I don’t know that I was “*taught* growing up that mr. police man is” my “friend”, and I don’t see it as a racial issue, certainly not a enforcement of “white supremacy” issue, to want my neighborhood to be safe enough to walk alone without fear of being beaten.

    The police are only one tool in making a neighborhood safe. I don’t think a report from a community meeting can be construed as looking only at police as the answer to crime. Nor glorification, really.

  4. I very much appreciate Sarah’s time & effort in reporting to Bernalwood. These are community issues & facts that need to be distributed regardless of race, creed, religion, political bent, etc., regardless of where they come from.
    Each person can & should do with the facts as they will.

  5. Most white people cannot understand the anger that arises from many black and brown folks when it comes to police or gentrification because they have not had to deal with being pulled over continously, being followed in a store, or have your entire race judged by the actions of others. I understand the anger. When I see more posts on this blog that calls for the white community to stand up to racism then I might be impressed. Instead, we have posts about people hiding their cell phones from the boogy man. Instead, we have white folks that come and buy “cheaper” homes in poverty stricken communities and then complain about crime. Write your legislatures and ask them to take care of the poor in this country. Question your families and friends that make racist comments and under the radar “ghetto” and “good crack” jokes. Question yourself when you make assumptions about the black man sitting next to you. When Jaquan, and Lateisha and Reajon’s resumes stop being thrown in the trash (plenty of research on this)—then you can complain about the crime.

  6. Mr F-T-P,
    I did not miss the point, you missed the point.

    The post was actually describing a meeting where the police were meeting with the community, to exchange information and communicate. The post was specifically re-communicating that information to a wider audience.

    You took the opportunity to insult the community, the police and this blog. You communicated with disrespect and you invoked foolish stereotypes that bear no resemblance to the people that live in this community. It is easy to stand on the side and criticize, and you cant learn anything if you think you already know everything.


  7. With all due respected to everybody, Eff the Police, and Shawn are 100% absolutely correct…I am a person of color, and have been a resident of Bernal Heights for almost 40 years. so I seen the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in this the community. First let me say that crime is Bad in “any” community, and should be rectified by the Police…

    But secondly, there is some Ugly in Bernal Heights…As people of color have moved out of the City, Real Estate in BH has become almost impossible for people of Color to Buy. Hence neighborhoods in BH are trending to be more, and more White Upper Class, and Transplants, form othe States, or Counties in California…

    As I said, I have lived in BH for almost 40 years, never being an issue to anyone, raising a family, and I consider myself and my Family good upstanding citizens. But now it appears that we are not wanted in our “own” neighborhood…The White Upper Class, Transplants want us OUT. You may ask, “how do you know this?” Believe me some tactics have been used over the past decades that have shown our Family that we are not wanted, and we take them as being Racist….

    All that being said, I still love Bernal Heights, and believe that is a Great Place to raise a Family. Moral of the Story is that we should all learn to Live in Harmony, and to get Along with each other….Love your Neighbor As You Love Yorself (Mark 12:31)

    • Thank you so much for joining the conversation. Your perspective is invaluable. Can you please tell us a bit more about the tactics that you feel have been used to make people of color feel unwelcome in the neighborhood? Of course, I’d be most interested in any of these techniques that have come into play during the last 10 to 15 years, which have made you feel unwelcome.

      • Thank you bernal lover for being courageous!

        I just ran a workshop for white folks on white privilege and we discussed the difference between”white talk” and “color commentary.” Often white folks want to see the data and specific examples rather than just taking the word from a person of color that they face daily microagressions. Here is a site that provides some examples of
        http://microaggressions.com/. Here is also a site from a white antiracist leader (Peggy McIntosh–The Invisible Knapsack): http://livingroutes.org/unpacking_knapsack.pdf

        This is a must read for white folks, so they can start recognizing the “invisible” privilege that they are provided simply because of their whiteness.

  8. Todd,
    I thought you might pipe in on my comment! 🙂 I am a long time reader of your Bernalwood Blog, and I think you do a terrfic job of expressing on a daily basis, on what it is to live in the little Village of BH.

    Bernal Heights is, and will always be a very Unique Community to live, play, and work in, and I love that I have had that privilege to do so. But on the flip side of that, this situation that I spoke of is Fluid, and is “still” currently going on, so I’d really like to remain anonymous.

    But believe me, if I explained the situation to you, you would say, “this is about something else, and more than what the individuals in your neighborhood say their beef is with you about.” But “thank you” so much for your interest, I just don’t want the current situation to get any worse than it has been. But I will also continue to make comments on your blog, because I think it is Great!

    And remember what I said in my last comment…”Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.” If everyone would do that, there would be no problems in the World. People should Strive To Get along.

  9. I want to offer my apology to ETP and Shawn for any offensive remarks i made.
    I echo the sentiment that Bernal Lover made that we should strive to get along.

    • These are important conversations to have and we are all on our paths to what we view as truth and not. For me– when I realized that I lived in an oblivious state and took my privilege of being white for granted– I looked at the world in a different light and decided to do something about it. So thank you J for engaging in a hard conversation.

  10. Pingback: SFPD Ingleside Station Update: Homicide Investigation, Car Break-Ins, and Mind Your Clothes Dryer Vent | Bernalwood

  11. A Kel-Tec .223 is nothing like an M-16. It does not have selectable fire so it is not an assault weapon.

  12. all the yuppies need 2 go…this is an ex-norteno saying this all u white upper class yuppies have ruined the neighborhood we established over 60 years ago..u can’t establish something as your own that’s already been established itself..kinda like how people “discovered” America even though there were people here already with their own culture probably calling it something else. shawn ftp and bernal lover speak truth

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