Neighbor Sarah, your valiant volunteer Bernal Heights crime correspondent, attended the SFPD Ingleside Community meeting this month, and she filed these summary notes on the latest Bernal Heights crime trends.
Read on, read carefully, be smart, mind your holiday parcels, and stay safe:
Before I get to the notes, a quick FYI: Capt. McFadden and other Ingleside officers will be at the December 4 Bernal Business Alliance “Holiday Stroll” on Cortland. He will likely start out at the BHNC and will then walk along Cortland between Andover and Bocana to meet merchants and residents. This is a chance for you to meet him and alert him to any concerns in an informal setting.
Now, onto the notes from the 11/18 meeting:
Capt. McFadden presided for the first half of the meeting, and Lt. Rich Struckman took over for the second half. Lt. Struckman just joined the station from Investigations. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police are seeing a spike in auto boostings (thefts from autos). One theory is that cell phone robberies are down 30% (because of kill switches or education/awareness), and would-be criminals have changed their focus to thefts from autos. The police also believe that the passage of Prop 47, which turns many crimes into misdemeanors and was effective upon passage, will lead criminals to focus on property crimes rather than robberies (which are felonies). Property crimes now just result in citations, with the person not being detained at all. Capt. McFadden also noted that the change from felonies to misdemeanors means that the police cannot get DNA from suspects and possibly link them to unsolved crimes. The change from Prop 47 has been immediate – Ingleside used to see 3-6 felonies per day, now half that.
They are also seeing more burglaries. These tend to hit one area, and the police devote resources to the area, which then displaces the crime to another area. Recent weeks have seen burglaries and/or auto boostings on Ney St., Miramar, Teresita, Monterey, Bella Vista, and more. “Best deterrent to crime is a nosy neighbor.”
Watch for people riding bikes at night and looking into cars! Common pattern is for someone to ride by, looking into cars. They then go around the block and return, maybe checking out houses and whether people are home, and then on the third time around, they break in to the parked cars. Call 911 if you see a break-in (auto or home) in progress; if it’s suspicious behavior, call non-emergency line at 553-0123.
The Examiner had a story on a sex offender living in the Holly Courts housing. The resident has evidently been causing problems for the other residents there. (Examiner article” Sex offender living in SF public housing dodges federal rules“). The housing authority is trying to get him out, but this means he will be placed in a residential neighborhood in other housing. The sex offender is well known to SFPD, and they have been keeping an eye on him since he has lived there.
There was a homicide in the district last weekend. A parolee was killed at the Amazon Motel on Mission/Geneva. It was not a random homicide. The victim was well known to SFPD.
There was a fight involving knives and box cutters at Crocker-Amazon Park last weekend during a soccer game. Both teams have been banned from playing there.
BE CAREFUL now that the holiday shopping season has arrived – for example, don’t go put packages in your car while you’re still shopping at the mall. People are watching the cars and parking lots. Warn visiting friends/family about this as well. SFSAFE has some good information on holiday shopping and how to keep yourself, your home, and your belongings safe.
Finally, Lt. Struckman mentioned that a district resident had recently called to report a burglary that had already happened. This is a “priority C” call since the burglar was not in the house. As a result, squad cars on the way to take the report kept getting re-routed to “A” and “B” priority calls, and it ended up taking six hours for the police to arrive and take the report. This shouldn’t happen. If you find yourself in a similar situation, call the station (404-4000) and ask for the Platoon Commander and explain the situation.
PHOTO: Sara Bassett