Gunpoint Robbery Rattles Neighbors in Northeast Bernal

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Neighbor A. was robbed at gunpoint on Samoset Street in northeast Bernal on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at about 9:20 pm. Residents of the area say this is the third such incident there in recent months.

Neighbor A. tells Bernalwood:

It happened front of 27 Samoset. Two men out of a car, with two other men in the car. White four door. The one carrying the gun wore a black hat and jacket with jeans.

The one who grabbed me pointed the gun at my chest and said he was going to shoot me if I did not comply. After the robbery they headed north on Franconia.

This is the third robbery I’m aware of where a lone woman is walking/biking either up Alabama to our block or around Esmeralda to our block. Car sees the woman, drives around, people unload to jump her, then heads away usually North on Franconia.

I’ve been emailing with Sgt Chou about the getaway car. I’ve asked what the police strategy/plan is, but have not heard back yet.

Here’s a video of the perps captured from a neighbor’s security camera, with the white getaway car visible across the street. If you recognize the men, or have any further information, please contact the Sgt. Chou at SFPD Ingleside via (415) 404-4000.

Your Bernal Heights Crime Update for July 2016

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And now, a quick update on crime patterns in Ingleside Precinct, courtesy of Neighbor Sarah, Bernal’s intrepid liaison with the San Francisco Police Department:

Notes from the Ingleside Station Community Meeting
July 19, 2016
Venue: St. Mary’s Rec Center
Capt. McFadden presided

Ingleside Station has 100 officers; a fairly decent staffing level, though it recently lost new recruits who trained there but were then reassigned to other, permanent ‘home’ stations.

CRIME UPDATE

Auto and house burglaries continue, but Ingleside’s crimes have dropped in the past 2 months. Undercover team is working overtime ; they’ve caught a repeat robber, a drug dealer, and others.

Crime usually up in summer, but Capt. McFadden thinks various youth programs are helping.

Each station now has a dedicated statistics officer. Members of the public can request data. Provide an area (like street boundaries), type of crime, and dates. Email McFadden at joseph.mcfadden@sfgov.org, and he’ll pass along requests to stats officer. Please allow 7 days of lead time.

Videos of crimes are sent out to all officers and their iPhones. SFPD likes video. Recent video shares helped captured bike thieves, package thieves, etc. If you have a camera, consider registering it with DA’s office so police know what areas have video coverage and can request it after an incident.

Trend in garage thefts: Recommend residents use garage latch so a would-be burglar with opener can’t get in. Also, make sure garage is closed before you go to sleep at night; sometimes people accidentally open garage door because the opener is in their pants or purse or whatever.

Stolen credit cards often used to buy Clipper cards, which are then resold for less than face value.

McFadden recommends marking your valuable stuff with an engraver – that way, if it turns up in a flea market or on Craigslist, you’ll know it’s yours.

Pokemon Go – You’ve heard the stories. Players aren’t paying attention, and some get robbed, especially late at night. Be aware!

OTHER SFPD BUSINESS

McFadden really likes SFPD Acting Chief Toney Chaplin, and hopes he is made permanent. Chaplin is doing lots of community outreach.

One initiative is Coffee with the Cops.There will be more events over the coming months.

There’s a medical cannabis dispensary (MCD) application for 100 Sickles. The area already has a cluster of MCDs, neighbors not psyched.

Email is the best way to reach Capt. McFadden is by email: joseph.mcfadden@sfgov.org

Also use 311 to report things like problem/nuisance/drug houses. Those reports will get to the City Attorney. The City Attorney needs electronic paper trail. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Body cameras – Ingleside and Bayview are in the body camera pilot program. Six Ingleside officers trained on them this week. Rollout in coming months. McFadden thinks they will be beneficial.

Recent incidents ended peacefully – Tenderloin gun incident, man on Campbell in psychological distress (24-hour negotiation with him). Acting Chief Chaplin wants SFPD to become model for resolving incidents peacefully.

Use of Force Policy. The draft has been adopted, and is now in a vetting process. Emphasis on time and distance, negotiation. Should be done and in place in about 2 months.

July Fourth Mayhem – It’s hard to deal with. McFadden sent out roving squad cars taking reports of major fireworks in real time. Meeting attendees thought it was even worse than usual this year, with lots of major illegal fireworks.

National Night Out – Ingleside will be holdings its NNO event in September instead of August this year. Date is Sept 13, 5pm, Crocker-Amazon Park. Climbing wall, BBQ, etc. Lots of parking. More info to come.

Next community meeting – August 16, 7pm, Ingleside Station.

Q&A

D9 Supervisor Candidate Joshua Arce attended and asked some follow-up questions on car burglaries.

Resident of Miraloma shared a frustrating encounter with police – super-drunk people throwing trash, passing out in back yard; police sent one guy away in ambulance, left the rest of them there. They stayed, sitting in car with big open containers. Resident called police again, police did nothing. McFadden said that if you have an experience like this, call Ingleside Station at 404-4000 and ask to speak to Platoon Commander and explain situation. If you need follow-up from police, request a 909 (meeting with the cops). Get name and badge # of officers who are not responding appropriately.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Thieves Smash Healthy Spirits Door to Steal Cash Register

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Grrrrrrrr. Rami from Healthy Spirits tells Bernalwood:

Healthy Spirits located at 249 Cortland Ave  was broken into at 5:30 AM this morning. Two robbers broke the glass on the front door and entered the shop. They stole the cash register with the small sum of money and proceeded to exit. Thankfully the damage was only financial and no one was hurt in anyway.

PHOTO: Smashed door, via Healthy Spirits

Video Captures Thieves Stealing Packages on Prospect

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A home security camera captured a pair of package thieves stealing a delivery from a Bernal Heights home on Prospect near Esmeralda. Neighbor A. says:

Some of our mail and packages were stolen on Friday, May 20th, 2016 @ ~8pm. Looks to be two people, maybe a father (who is toting a large bag with possibly other mail/packages) and son, or friends.

Here’s the video clip. If you recognize the perps, please call SFPD Ingleside Station at (415) 404-4000:

Wheel Thefts Leave Bernal Cars Stranded on Blocks

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This week, Bernal neighbors are reporting a mini-wave of property crimes involving the theft of wheels from late-model cars. Three such incidents are now confirmed. Neighbor Brian was a victim:

I found my car up on blocks with the wheels stolen on April 16. I wondered if you’ve heard other reports of this. I’ve filed a police report but haven’t spoken with a detective yet. My car was parked on Eugenia @ Elsie.

Yuck. And yes, we are hearing other reports of this. Neighbor Peter says:

There seems to be a rash of car wheel thefts happening in Bernal Heights. I woke to a neighbor in front of my house yesterday with one wheel missing from her car. She seemed really bummed about it. I then saw several postings on Nextdoor from Bernal folks who have had not one but two wheels stolen off their cars in the past few days. I think people should be on the lookout for this crappy new form of crime in Bernal Heights.

The one I saw outside my house yesterday was on the 300 block of Coleridge, between Cortland and Kingston Sts. It makes you wonder what the total number might actually be.

The grey BMW is on the 400 Block of Eugenia, the red Hyundai is on the 300 block of Franconia.

In the case of the grey BMW and the red Hyundai, both wheels from one side of the car were taken; the wheels on the other side were left in place.

UPDATE: That sad red Hyundai belongs to Neighbor Sarah, who tells us how it took a village for her to get back on the road:

I saw my poor red Hyundai on your story about stolen wheels. She’s all fixed now, with new wheels and tires, and LOCKING lug nuts on all wheels. Deciding if I should get new hubcaps for the new tires or not.

And to add insult to injury, my battery died this morning and the car wouldn’t start. AAA to the rescue again!

Thanks to all the Franconia and Samoset St. neighbors who came up to me as I stood next to my disabled car on the phone and offered kind words and support, and for looking through camera footage. To Mission Tires for quickly getting me some new hoops, rotating the tires, and putting the locking lug nuts on the older wheels. My housemate Kelly for letting me borrow her car so I could go to O’Reilly’s for lug nuts, and the O’Reilly’s staff for listening to my sob story. My friend Molly for driving me to and from Mission Tires, and helping me unload them. And AAA for *all* the roadside assistance.

Hoping for better car-ma soon for all Bernalese!

Best,

Sarah on Samoset

PHOTOS: via Neighbor Peter

Coleridge Mini-Park Neighbors Exasperated by City Inaction on Safety Lighting

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For a year and a half, a group of neighbors who live near the Coleridge Mini-Park have been in contact with city officials and representatives from Supervisor Campos’s office to upgrade the street lighting in the area and make it safer at night. So far, however there has been a lot of talk, but little action. Neighbor Valerie summarizes what’s happened — and not happened — so far:

We wanted to tell you about the efforts that have been made by neighbors here to get better lighting in the Coleridge Mini Park. Our effort has involved multiple calls to 311, SFPD, and Carolyn at Supervisor Campos’ office to follow up.

The initial meeting with representatives from Supervisor Campos’s office was October(ish) of 2014. By early February 2015, they essentially gave us the classic City response of “we hear you, but we can’t do anything about it.” We were basically told that they couldn’t help us because there were too many obstacles and bureaucratic hurdles to overcome, but we could either purchase solar lights or find someone to donate them and only at that point, would they try to help — and by help, they meant figure out IF said lights could actually be installed. All of the work and effort to increase the lighting was kicked to us with no confirmation that it would actually lead to a change. The only thing they keep offering us is to cut back the trees in the park, which we’ve told them multiple times are NOT the problem.

Unfortunately, the only time we’ve heard any follow up to this is after the assault occurred on the Esmeralda Stairway last January. Since that time, Carolyn [Goossen, a legislative aide in Sup. Campos’s office] has reached out again, with a promise that “this was a good season to request grant money.”

However, if Campos and his office have a plan to secure said funds, we haven’t heard about it. The lights on the stairway were replaced with LED bulbs which are *slightly* better, but that doesn’t change the issue IN the park. We are constantly calling SFPD to come out and patrol and/or deal with the drug dealers, meth users, parties, etc. There was another arrest in front of the park on March 14.

We, and our neighbors, have done everything we can do to help improve the safety in this area, including adding additional lights to private homes and installing cameras which did help to catch the guy who assaulted our neighbor at knife-point.

Enough is enough though. I don’t think it’s our responsibility to seek out private funding to pay for lighting in a City maintained park. We, and most of our neighbors, are very frustrated by the lack of response from our Supervisor’s office and as I’ve said previously, it’s insulting that I’m good enough to ask for a vote during election season but he can’t move the needle on a persistent public safety issue.

PHOTO: Police arresting a suspect near the Coleridge Mini-Park on March 14, 2016. Photo by Neighbor Valerie