Northeast Bernal Neighbor Exasperated by Property Crime

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Neighbor Daniel lives on Holliday Avenue in northeast Bernal, just above the US101/Cesar Chavez interchange. He says property crime in that corner of the neighborhood is getting out of hand.

Neighbor Daniel tells Bernalwood:

We have had a rash of crime, especially car burglaries involving my car and cars none of my neighbors recognize. I’ve written Captain McFadden and Supervisor David Campos about it. Here is the letter I sent:

From: Daniel
Date: November 30, 2015
To: “joseph.mcfadden@sfgov.org”
Cc: david.campos@sfgov.org
Subject: Bernal Heights Crime

Dear Captain McFadden,

I, Daniel W. – homeowner at XXXX Holladay Avenue, am writing to express my concern with the recent car burglaries and other crime on Holladay avenue in Bernal Heights. The first incident occurred on November 9, 2015; a car burglary I witnessed resulting in an arrest by SFPD.

The second car burglary incident occurred on Holladay avenue today November 30, 2015. This incident was called in by my neighbor at  XXX Holladay Avenue. The perpetrator of this incident involved him threatening my elderly neighbor and resulting in his arrest. The arresting officer stated the SFPD had found a weapon in the car, and the weapon had previously been used to commit a crime.

A month and a half ago ago, my car was broken into on Holladay avenue. I did not call the police regarding that incident.

Several months ago, I had to call the police when a homeless couple with a dangerous dog were walking in my neighborhood creating a public safety issue. The responding officer had to discharge his weapon to stop the dog and apprehend the suspects.

I am very concerned with this uptick in crime in my neighborhood. I do not feel safe, and I would like to know what SFPD plans to do with regards to the rash of crime on my street in Bernal Heights.

Sincerely,

Daniel

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

30 thoughts on “Northeast Bernal Neighbor Exasperated by Property Crime

  1. I’m no crime rocket scientist, but might it have anything to do with the KOA camp the city and county of San Francisco allows to exist at the Potrero/Bayshore/Cesar Chavez interchange?
    Too bad the super bowl isn’t on this side of town. I suspect everyone in the tourist zones will get swept over here.

    • That’s the prediction – I have been working on some safety issues with my kids’ school in SoMa (which is seeing these same dynamics x10), and the concern seems to be that homeless encampments near Justin Herman Plaza will be eliminated as a temporary “solution” for the Super Bowl events.

  2. I can’t tell you how happy I left SF for Monterey. I don’t know who many times my car was broken into or some idiot careened by at night f’ing up the side of the car. I’m over SF and it’s crime!

  3. The north section of Holladay that is flanked by the elevated southbound roadway and chainlink fence also attracts people looking to park their car somewhere quiet to enjoy their alcohol and drugs, and dump trash.

  4. The rash of break ins has been terrible. We had our car stolen from in front of our house earlier this month, parked on the 3600 block of Folsom.
    Last night there was an attempt to steal our other car, parked near Bernal Hill. That one had a club on it and they still broke in and tried to start it. In the process they jammed the mechanism to start the car. They must have had something in there to try to turn it over but it broke off.
    There’s a lot of things we like about the neighborhood, but this is getting to be too much.

  5. The rash of break ins has been terrible. We had our car stolen from in front of our house earlier this month, parked on the 3600 block of Folsom.
    Last night there was an attempt to steal our other car, parked near Bernal Hill. That one had a club on it and they still broke in and tried to start it. In the process they jammed the mechanism to start the car. They must have had something in there to try to turn it over but it broke off.
    There’s a lot of things we like about the neighborhood, but this is getting to be too much.

  6. Why are homeowners parking on the street rather than their garage? If they converted the garage to occupy it, that is one of the trade offs, your car is now exposed to the “elements”.

  7. My car just got broken into yesterday (I live on Bradford near the farmer’s market). Fortunately no windows were broken. There were tons of fingerprints on the door and it looks like some sort of tool was used to pry the door open. Nothing was taken except for a USB cord – every thing was thrown around and tons of change was left behind. Strangest thing…

    For those of us near the freeway, this stuff is getting out of hand. I’ve been laid off and being at home during the day allows me to really see how bad things have gotten. There’s 4 rusty cars parked at the bottom of our street that seem to be used as storage units (all are filled to the brim with crap) and there’s some on cinder blocks. There’s a guy living on the sidewalk at the top of our street who’s a bit unbalanced, another lady was screaming outside for a lighter so I gave her one hoping she’d take off, all in all, lots of suspicious behavior and tons of trash and debris all the time. Piss and shit everywhere

    I ride my bike and pass through huge tent cities. Why doesn’t the city do anything to help those people get off the streets? Seems like they just push people out from downtown and south of market and they end up here in ever increasing numbers.

  8. On Nextdoor, Potrero Hill people are concerned about a proposal for an official RV park for people living in their vehicles. I will post this link there.
    I see fresh glass from car break-ins almost every day at the North parking lot for Bernal Hill. It is frustrating, and sad.

  9. My car has been broken into 4 times and stolen once in the last 7 months on Holladay. It’s ridiculous. I’ve reported half of the incidents, and nothing happens as a result. Last month, we had a homeless person camping just on the other side of our backyard fence smoking crack and the police, CHP, et did nothing. My landlord had to finally dump all this guy’s stuff on the side of the freeway. The crime has gotten out of control.

  10. I’m glad somebody brought this up. I live in NE Bernal close to Holladay and really agree that this has become a serious problem and a public safety issue. I also think it’s just a matter of time before it escalates from property crime to something more serious.

    I emailed Captain McFadden, too. He was helpful and really prompt with his reply. He said that they know the homeless issue has gotten really bad and that they are working with a homeless outreach officer on it.

    He gave me the contact information for the Homeless Outreach Team, which I’ll share here:

    (415) 355-7445 (urgent number)
    415-355-7555 (main desk)

    …and the person he connected me with was Lieutenant Michael Nevin:

    (415) 837-7288 (desk)
    Michael.Nevin@sfgov.org

    That said, I’m not sure this is the whole answer, and I wonder if anyone else has other ideas on how to approach this? It would be great to see neighbors come together with the powers-that-be – just not sure who the powers-that-be are and how to make that happen. Is it Supervisor Campos … ?

    I emailed Captain McFadden because I sat in my car the other day – with my toddler in the backseat – while a man strung out on something pounded on our car windows. Fortunately a neighbor came out and scared him away. This was also 2 days after our car was broken into in the middle of the day .. and we know better than to leave anything in our car.

    We have insurance, and the garage thing is a non-issue for us … the fundamental issue isn’t, is my car safe … it’s do I feel safe with my family … and I don’t. And I don’t scare that easy. Things over here by the freeway have gotten terrible.

  11. As someone who had her catalytic converter stolen out from under her truck last year in the neighborhood, I’m not without sympathy for these folks. I live near Holladay and walk there every day. I also worked for many years next door to one of the recycling centers just a stone’s throw from the neighborhood.

    I have a hard time feeling the degree of concern or empathy that the rest of the commenters seem to feel. We live in a city. One with a huge wealth gap. While some here might want to blame every crime on the homeless, smash and grabs are very often the work of people IN a car. That might not be the case every time on Holladay, but I’m not ready to blame folks so down on their luck for every theft in east Bernal.

    If you don’t feel safe because of property crime like car break ins, you might need a suburb with a gate.

    • Barb, you’re making a lot of assumptions. I work in the social services field myself. I’ve lived in SF for a very long time. Pointing out that a bad problem is getting worse and needs to be dealt with by engaging in conversation doesn’t mean I (and others) need to move to the suburbs. It means I care about my neighborhood. It also means I’m not naive. This is a complicated issue with a lot of angles – why I said that I didn’t think Captain McFadden’s suggestion wasn’t the whole answer.

      • +1, NEBernalite. I’ve lived in SF all my life and I’m 1) allowed to be angry about property crime, and 2) not moving to a gated burb.

    • I hate this kind of attitude… “if you don’t like crime, maybe you should move to the ‘burbs.” as if having your car broken into or stolen on a regular basis is just a fact of city life. we in NE and SE bernal are crawling with crackheads looking for as little as loose change. i don’t even feel safe letting my kid walk around in the daylight. it’s not ok and not a fact of city life.

    • I’ve lived in North Bernal for 20 years. A few months ago, my spouse was clobbered in the head by a group of 6 thugs, and had his wallet, computer, phone, and keys stolen. Despite immediately cancelling our credit cards, due the incompetence of Chase, the thieves spent $10,000 with the cards, and later, someone using his ID rented a car and didn’t return it. He doesn’t feel safe anymore in our neighborhood or our city. Fuck you for suggesting crime victims should leave their homes and move to the suburbs.

  12. The crime issue is Citywide, not just Bernal. Some of it can probably be traced to the frustration SFPD feels when there are no charges filed for property damage crimes, they arrest, spend tons of time doing paperwork and the perp gets to walk. Some of it is our fault, if a car gets broken into and we do NOT report it, then it did not happen (officially, or statistically). Then there is the issue of maybe nobody in government cares anymore. The Ruth Asawa School of the Arts got broken into last week, 90 new compters and 5 high tech cameras stolen. The police took SIX HOURS to respond to the alarm. What does THAT teach our kids? Quality of life crimes are not being enforced, near my work is a homeless encampment, huuman feces all over the street. If I call 311 they treat the symptom by cleaning the sidewalk, I never see any outreach, when there are 5 or 6 people in a bunch of tents on the sidewalk (they can block the sidewalk without an issue, I put out a bench for my customers to sit on and I get ticketed for not having a permit!) and these guys have about 10 bicycles between them and a pile of bike parts, I don’t think I am wrong about those being stolen bikes, and NOTHING gets done about it. Campos’ office does not even return phone calls, or they call and then do nothing. Hopefully we can elect a supervisor that will help clean up Bernal and the Mission,

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