Your January 2012 SFPD Crime Report for Bernal Heights

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Neighbor Sarah, our saintly correspondent who attends the monthly meetings at the San Francisco Police Department’s Ingleside Station, has delivered the goods yet again. Here’s your crime report for January 2012. Over to you, Neighbor Sarah…

Notes from Ingleside Meeting, 1/17/12

This was a bit of an unusual meeting for a few reasons, so my notes are fairly brief.

Lt. Jennifer Dorantes was filling in for Capt. Mahoney, who was away for training. She didn’t hand out the crime statistics, but she directed me to the Ingleside website, which contains some of them in the captain’s message.

First, Jana Clark from the City Attorney’s office spoke. She works on the code enforcement team and is assigned to the Ingleside. The codes they enforce include fire, building, health, planning, police, and public works. They also deal with blight, which is written into one of the codes. They are focused on civil matters (vs. the DA, which focuses on criminal matters). They deal with code violations that rise to the level of being a public nuisance — affecting a block, neighborhood, etc. (not disputes between individuals, for example). They receive referrals from different city department and also get complaints from the general public. The police also alert them to issues where the threat of a lawsuit might help solve a particular situation.

She suggested that people call/email her with any problems, as well as to call 311 and get a tracking number. This has come up before — 311 is a great resource because (a) you get a tracking number and (b) 311 sends the problem to the relevant city departments. This all gets recorded and can be followed up on.

At this point, the meeting focused for some time on the problems that several members of the Ingleside community (not from Bernal) had been experiencing with drug houses on their block. I won’t go into details for confidentiality reasons, but a few interesting things came out of the discussion:

One, the city attorney’s office deals with exactly these sorts of things — in this case, there were some absentee landlords who were renting to drug dealers, and Ms. Clark thought that this was the sort of situation where the threat of a lawsuit often works the best. There is a law called the drug abatement act, which lays out penalties for anyone allowing their house to be used for drug dealing, including that the house must be left vacant for a full year following the clearing out of the drug dealers.

The second interesting point that came up on the discussion was that you CAN take videos on your property and its surroundings (one person thought you were not allowed to), and the police like getting these videos and will send them out to other stations. Videos have allowed them to solve several crimes. Someone in the community said she’d gotten a security video camera at Costco for $150.

Lt. Dorantes said that crime in aggregate was down 15% in 2011 vs 2010. There was a spike in assault/domestic violence in the Ingleside in November/December. There have also been many stolen vehicles, especially in Bernal Heights. They tend to be recovered in the Outer Mission or in Bernal Heights (this explains the cars recovered on Folsom).

Theft from vehicles continues to be a problem, and she mentioned that thieves are taking registration papers (possible identity theft, etc). She said you can black out your address on the registration (who knew?). Residential burglaries, especially bicycles stolen from open garages, continue to be a problem.

iPhones, especially the 4S, are still popular in robberies. They can be sold for $100 at 7th/Market, where these goods turn up. Get Find My iPhone — this continues to help the police locate stolen iPhones and solve crimes cross-district. Often, if they track down one stolen phone, they will find a trove of other stolen items.

The captain is running a Distracted Driving campaign, in which officers will ticket people for texting, etc. If you know of any areas where SFPD should run a pedestrian sting, email the captain.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

One thought on “Your January 2012 SFPD Crime Report for Bernal Heights

  1. Thanks for the info as always. Having a tracking app on your phone is an absolute must, there’s no reason not too. Just having it doesn’t necessarily mean you will get a stolen phone back though – a friend had her phone stolen in SOMA last month, and when she called the SFPD with the information from the tracking app, they just told her she shouldn’t have been out at night in SOMA, and that they couldn’t do anything to help.

    So by all means, put a tracking app on your phone, but it’s not a sure-fire solution.

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