Your Bernal Heights Crime Report for November 2014: More Car Break-Ins, More Burglaries, and a Bad-News Neighbor in Holly Court


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

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

20 thoughts on “Your Bernal Heights Crime Report for November 2014: More Car Break-Ins, More Burglaries, and a Bad-News Neighbor in Holly Court

  1. Hi Bernalwood! An interesting app for the holidays is the Doorman app which accepts your holiday shipments and then delivers them to you when you will be at home. I haven’t tried it but it may help with cutting down on those stolen deliveries the next few weeks. Here’s the link:

    • UPS has a $40/year service now giving you better control and a 2-hour window. Fedex (a far better service) lets you re-route packages for free, I just send them to Marin St. and pick them up in person.

  2. Thanks for the update. I was quite disappointed/saddened on my walk to Glen Park BART this morning. I saw at least 6 piles of window glass from cars that had been broken into on Arlington between Roanoke and Bosworth. 4 were along the green area on Arlington where dogs are often walked and there are no houses on that side. Very sad indeed. Keep everything out of your car folks.
    Very sad, indeed. 😦

    • Such a bummer! It’s helpful if you can find parking that is not along a park that doesn’t have houses nearby. I use to see the same thing happen around Dolores Park and the High School all the time when I lived near there.

    • I saw a mess, too. The broken glass was along Bosworth to Glen Park BART. It seems like all this crime is really hitting Bernal Heights, Glen Park, & tail end of Noe Valley pretty hard. Very sad all around.

  3. Expected to see my attempted Nov. 4 attempted burglary and my neighbor’s subsequent break-in on this report. Happened on November 4th on Coleridge Street near Fair.

    • Yes. Climed over two gates (one 10 ft tall) to gain access to the crack yard. Attempted to open the kitchen window, then two failed temps at the two rear door, then finally broke the livingroom window. Thankfully the alarm sounded. He jumped the rear fence and broke into my neighbor’s house. When a tenant arrived home finding a stranger in the house, he believed that he was a repairman waiting for the owner. After the police left, he strolled away from the neighbor’s. this guy is stilling the loose, so be careful. Lock up your house good and don’t atore ladders in the back yard.

      • what time did this all happen? That’s one determined crook to climb a ten foot gate! PS by “crack yard” I’m assuming (hoping?) you meant “backyard”?

      • Ha! Yes — “backyard”. It happened at about 4pm. I should give kudos to the police who arrived within a few minutes of the alarm call. Too bad my neighbor’s tenant didn’t put two and two together and make the obvious connect between the four police cars and crowd of neighbors in the street and an unexpected jittery repairman.

  4. I’d appreciate a photo of the sex offender. The guy is living right next to an elementary school for God’s sake!

    • Ditto for photo of sex offender. How many other criminals live in public housing projects?! If the officials taking care of this did their job, it would pretty much empty out these dumps; crime would definitely go down. Most of these places needed to be torn down years ago. They do nothing but blight a neighborhood. It seems that every time there crime happening in south slope of Bernal Heights, the criminals are usually traced back to Alemany Projects;

    • There is a Megan’s law database for California that includes photos of the perps. Not sure this one is listed. The peddies aren’t allowed to live within a certain distance of a school as far as I know.

  5. Add another one: My car was stolen last evening. It was parked on 30th Street just west of Dolores, right in front of my house, on a busy block. It was locked had no valuables in it (in sight or otherwise). I’m so sad–I loved that little car..

  6. I park on Powhattan and Moultrie. My car ahas been broken in twice in the last 6 months. The first time they took my registration and service book. They left behind all the CDs that were in the glove compartment – I suppose having a bad taste in music has at least some fringe benefits. Now I leave my glove compartment open/ajar, same is true for the compartment between the seats. I am almost considering to leave my door unlocked. I tried to file a police report at the station on Valencia and 22nd – they literally laughed me out of the building. Thanks for sharing this information

    • If you leave the car open they may think to try that before smashing the window. Which saves you your deductible at least. Unless seeing an unlocked door triggers the criminal mindset of “they were asking for it.” But I doubt the typical car booster cares much about justification; they know the police can’t touch them now due to the luvin’ grace and tender mercy of the California voter and that’s all the permission they need. The lock is fairly irrelevant anyway as a thin strip of sheet metal can unlock a door in seconds anyway. The broken glass is just a sign of how stupid, or spiteful, the typical petty crook is.

  7. Someone stole a big, old succulent plant in a cool pot right in front of my yard Sunday night. Park Street.
    Watch out for the Plant Burglar too!

    • Years back someone stole the Xmas wreath off my neighbor’s door. I suppose some Scrooge wanted to impress his missus on the cheaps. Anyway if anything’s in public view it’s forfeit around here, as far as PD is concerned.

  8. Update on my stolen car: it was recovered this morning–parked at a pump at 4 a.m. at the 76 Station on Mission and 30th. The thief had used the top of a binder clip as a key–it was still in the ignition. Took everything of the slightest value ( the charger for my phone, my favorite baseball cap from Micronesia), the rear license plate, and my owners manual and registration. But they left behind a set of jumper cables (not mine) and a steering wheel club (again, not mine, but no key). Even though it was parked at the pump they had not put any gas in. The bums. Glad to have it back though! The station manager had called the police because they figured it was stolen. 90 minutes at the DMV and $20 later, I now have new plates and a new registration card. And my neighbor gave me a steering wheel club to try to avert another try. The policeman said this happens all the time to Hondas, but it was his first Miata.

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