Your Bernal Heights Crime Report for March 2015: Burglars Burgling, Lots of Auto Break-Ins, and Shotwell Stairs Can Be Sketchy


Once again, 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, and stay safe:

Notes from Ingleside Community Meeting, March 17, 2015

I attended last week’s community meeting, as did several Bernal neighbors. The room was as packed as I’ve ever seen it. Lt. Rich Struckman, the night watch commander, filled in for Capt. McFadden.

There was a double homicide in Crocker Amazon recently. SFPD believes it was targeted/gang-related. Can’t share much because it’s a homicide investigation. No retaliation so far.

Rash of burglaries in Nov/Dec/Jan – arrested group of six people related to those. Preliminary hearings going on now. Suspects told SFPD they skipped homes with any sign of alarm/security/etc. Looked for newspapers/pamphlets piling up or other signs people were out of town. Knocked on doors to see if anyone answered. All daytime robberies in that string.

“Be a nosy neighbor.” If you see a crime in progress – even property crimes – call 911. If you see people you think are casing homes or cars, call 553-0123. Try to be detailed when calling.

If you’re calling the police after the fact in a burglary, have the police come take a report – important for investigators because it helps them tie crimes together if, say, an arrest is made in a similar crime in the future.

Lots of auto break-ins – hard to solve. Lots of desperate people in SF. Often narcotics-related (ie, drug addicts opportunistically looking for things to steal and sell).

SFPD highly recommends SFSAFE (673-SAFE) for setting up neighborhood watches and for learning crime-prevention tips.

Lt Struckman thinks Ingleside has the most and best-organized community groups in the city.

Lailah Morris, assistant DA posted at the station, was in attendance. (

Question about robberies on Geneva/Mission corridor – but on the back streets. Two officers always posted in that area.

Cell phone kill switch question – you have to call a hotline to get phone disabled, but it is on all new iPhones. For older phones, little cellphone stores will break phones for bad guys so they can re-sell.

Question on new lights for dark streets (often a question in Bernal as well). Very difficult to get new lights installed. PUC owns most lights on major corridors. PG&E owns most lights on residential streets. Supervisor Wiener trying to bring all under city control. For now, your best bet for getting new lights installed is to work with your supervisor and stay after the PG&E Government Relations representative. Surprisingly helpful measure is to have everyone leave on porch lights all night.

Question about Alemany condo complex — even security cameras have been stolen! Constant auto break-ins. One guy was arrested for residential burglaries in that area in Feb – those have dropped. But auto break-ins tend to be opportunistic and committed by people with drug problems.

Question about illegal gambling shacks. Major arrests at Kingston/Mission – working in conjunction with DA and City Atty to shut this and other ones down. Ingleside is kind of pioneering the approach of how to deal with these businesses, which are all over SF now. People running them seem often to be affiliated.

SFPD staffing – After years of retirements and low staffing after the recession, mayor/supervisors are really cranking through academy classes now – promised 3/year but doing 6 this year. Should be back up to full staffing (1971 officers) down the road. Police force is very young right now.

If you have an issue where you need to tell the police about your neighbors, they will work with you to make sure you are not identified as being the person who informed.

Question about Shotwell stairs in Bernal – cameras capturing illegal activity (drug drops, etc).

Question about parks – Officer Hauscarriage (former night watch) is now on parks duty.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

11 thoughts on “Your Bernal Heights Crime Report for March 2015: Burglars Burgling, Lots of Auto Break-Ins, and Shotwell Stairs Can Be Sketchy

  1. We’re So lucky to have Sarah give us these reports,about what’s going on.
    Thank you So very much Sarah. You’re the greatest.

  2. While we are on the subject of security and lights.. Can anyone recommend a handy-person or electrician that might be able to drag power to the facade of the house so I can setup a motion sensing light?

    • I’ve had an electrician do it and wow is it expensive. Since it’s outside they need to install conduit and then run the wire through that. But it did work in dispersing the little crackhead that was causing trouble.

      Thank you again Sarah for your diligent reports.

    • You can buy solar powered motion activated lights. I just ordered one on Amazon for less than $40.

  3. For some of us older residents lights have been a big issue in the past. Many of us feel that there are already way too many lights. Certainly in my case they wanted to install huge street lights right in front of my main window and in front of my bedroom window. That was a disaster. Fortunately the city was willing to work with me a few others to get it settled. If you want more lights please do not get the super bright installations that you can see from the space station, or ones that interfere with your neighbors’ sleep patterns. Thanks.

  4. I had SF SAFE come to my home and do an assessment to determine how to make my home safer and more burglar-proof. I highly recommend this. Although it was several years after I first requested the assessment, I was told they just hired many more people so the turnover should be quicker. This was after witnessing my neighbor’s home being broken into, so it was very timely.

  5. Blue Chevrolet Silverado stolen fron banks and ogden its my husband’s work truck Tuesday 4/7 2015

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