Your Bernal Heights Crime Report for December 2013: Alemany Homicide Update and Burglary Is the New Drug Dealing


Neighbor Sarah, your vigilant volunteer Bernal Heights crime reporter, attended the SFPD Ingleside Community meeting just before the Xmas/New Year break, and she filed these summary notes on current Bernal Heights crime trends.

Before we jump into that, however, there’s a quick update on the fatal shooting that took place at the Alemany housing project on December 14. The SFPD now believes that Clifton Chapman, the teen who died at the scene, was a participant in the robbery that preceded the shooting. The San Francisco Examiner reports:

A teenager was arrested in connection with the Dec. 14 homicide of 16-year-old Clifton Chatman, police Sgt. Danielle Newman said Friday.

Two people were shot that day in the Bernal Heights area, and police say the shootings happened during the course of an attempted robbery.

The intended robbery victim was walking in the 500 block of Alemany Boulevard near Ellsworth Street some time after 11 p.m. The victim was surrounded by a group of teenage boys, and one of the boys demanded the victim’s cellphone. One of the boys pulled out a handgun while the others rifled through the victim’s belongings.

Although the victim complied with suspect’s demands, the boy with the gun shot the victim in the face, Newman said, but the shot glanced off his face and struck Chatman, who was reportedly one of the robbery suspects.

Now, on to Neighbor Sarah’s regular crime summary:

Notes from Ingleside Meeting, 12/17/13

Captain Falvey presided.  He has now been captain at Ingleside for 15 months.

CRIME TRENDS (see attached Compstat report):

November was pretty good – key arrests + education campaigns likely led to low crime for the month.  Got 20+ guns off the streets early in the month.

First 15 days of the month – 17 robberies.
Then made a few key arrests.
Last 15 days of the month – 3 robberies.

2013 started out very high with robberies — this has improved with arrests, but, as we know in Bernal, that doesn’t mean the accused will stay locked up for long, so we should not get complacent.

City-wide, crime is up 13% YTD.  In our district, it’s up 7%.

Over the past several years, gangs have shifted from drug-dealing to stealing cell phones.  Now moving on to property crimes (e.g., auto boosts) because they can efficiently get property to sell and face lower penalties than for robbery.  Police believe gangs are coaching one another to shift to break-ins and burglaries.

Lots of entries through garage doors (41% of burglaries in district last month were through garage).  Remember to take your garage-door openers inside when you leave your car and make sure all entry points to your garage (and from garage to house) are secure).

Continuing trend of houses being built or remodeled getting broken into – tools & appliances stolen.  Don’t use realtor-style lockboxes to hold keys! These can be pried open.  Also seeing theft of Ford Econoline vans subsequently used in appliance robberies.

Call police if you see this happening to a neighbor’s house. Remember: would you want someone to call if they saw this going on at your home?

City at 47 homicides YTD for 2013 (five years ago, it was 94).
Homicide at 580 Alemany – investigation continuing (See update above).  First homicide in district in 66 days.

Question about how police keep track of parolees and people on probation.  SFPD works with those departments and does Fugitive Recovery Team days where multiple agencies sweep an area and visit the parolees and people on probation in a given area.

Traffic accidents are up this year city-wide. Drivers, slow down!  Pedestrian safety initiative going on.  More people than ever are on bikes, too.  Ingleside has 20% of city’s intersections.

Sarah Nichols, Community Boards
(415) 920-3820

She’s an attorney and got involved with Community Boards this year.
They resolve disputes through mediation. Oldest public mediation service in US.
Help parties find resolution themselves.
Often disputes are among neighbors, roommates, HOAs, families
$40 to open a case – can be waived for harship
17,000 local mediators trained since inception
85% of disputing parties have approved of outcome
Confidential, safe
You contact Community Boards – they contact 2nd party (you don’t have to)
1-3 mediators per issue, 3 hour mediation (can be daytime, night, weekend)
Mediators are matched to disputing parties in terms of age, demographics, language, etc.

Ingleside district gun buyback will be April 5 – save the date!


PHOTO: Top, Telstar Logistics

7 thoughts on “Your Bernal Heights Crime Report for December 2013: Alemany Homicide Update and Burglary Is the New Drug Dealing

  1. I’m wondering if there is any information available on the target of the robbery, the person who was shot in the face and seems to have miraculously survived. Are they a Bernal resident? Is there any way to contribute money to them or their family for their medical care?

  2. People DO drive too fast around the neighborhood. Here’s a little suggestion, drivers. If you have to slow down at speed bumps you are going too fast. If you drive the speed limit you can cross over those bumps without slowing down.

  3. I”m still boggled by the concept that a gunshot can ricochet off one’s face and kill one of one’s assailants. I agree with Ria that the community should do something to help the victim out. I assumed he was a minor and that was why he was not identified.

    • A bullet entering the head can behave strangely. In this case it appears to have ricocheted off the victim’s skull.

  4. Alemany Public Housing Projects have been a problem since they were built. Constant crime, violence, even murder, carrying into the surrounding neighborhoods. Many of the criminals caught by SFPD who had mugged residents, broken into cars & homes where I live in Bernal Heights have come from AP.
    Most likely the victim is a resident of the projects & is known by the thugs. It is a small community; everyone knows who lives there. Unfortunately, scenes like this are common when you live in this type of housing; always have to be on the look out, be part of a gang, or become another crime victim.
    At one point these projects had been highly recommended to be razed, rebuilt with mixed use/condos; instead Newsom came up with the Project Hope plan. We are stuck with the continued violence. Time to tear this mess down.

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