Noe Valley Voice September 1997

Police Beat: Five Robbers and a Pool Cue

By Officer Lois Perillo

The Noe Valley community reported five robberies to Mission District police during June and July.

The first occurred at 4:45 p.m. on June 3 at 26th and Noe, and involved three younger teen boys who robbed a 12-year-old boy. All suspects were identified, and the case was assigned to Inspector Glenn Pamiloff of the Juvenile Division.

In the second incident, on June 18 just after 6 a.m., a 39-year-old woman was robbed of her purse by a 30-year-old man who had exited a car and approached her while she waited for the J-Church streetcar at 22nd and Church. The man grabbed the purse and struggled with the woman, who held fast until the purse strap broke. The suspect then got back into his blue four-door sedan and fled east on 22nd Street and then south on Chattanooga. He was not apprehended.

A 50-year-old woman was robbed of her purse on the 1600 block of Castro Street by a 25-year-old male on July 13 just before 6 p.m. Further information about this incident was not included in the police report. The targeted woman spoke primarily Polish, and a translator was not available to the reporting officers.

Also on July 13, at around 6:50 p.m., a 15-year-old boy stopped Officer Lorraine Lombardo and me as we patrolled 24th Street. He said he had been robbed by a man who was now inside the Rat & Raven Bar. The teen explained that he had been standing with a friend outside Walgreens on Castro near Jersey a half-hour earlier, when a 21-year-old man grabbed him by his shirt, reached into the teen's pants pocket, and stole his money. The boys rollerbladed in pursuit of the man to the Rat & Raven and then waited across the street until they saw us.

We entered the bar, and the teen immediately identified the robber as he was preparing to make a shot at the pool table. I handcuffed the suspect -- yes, before he made his shot -- and took him and his pool cue to Mission Station, where he was booked on robbery and possession of methamphetamine.

Since then, I was ordered to court on the matter, where the defense attorney reported the suspect was now in a drug treatment program and argued that his client should not be held to answer on the robbery charge. The judge saw things differently and ordered the man to appear in Superior Court on both felony charges -- robbery and drug possession.

In the last robbery of the month, which happened July 18 at 10:10 a.m., a 54-year-old woman was walking west on 25th Street toward Church when a man who had just driven up in a four-door maroon car exited and approached her. The man grabbed the strap of her briefcase and pulled on it, dragging her to the ground and causing a cut to her finger before he ripped the case away.

According to witnesses, the man then got back in the car, now driven by another man, and fled west on 25th Street to northbound Church Street. Sorry, no arrest yet in this case.

Burglar Gets Bagged in the Ivy

One evening in late June, police spotted a 50-year-old man attempting to hide in the ivy growing alongside the J-Church tracks at 20th and Church. After drawing him out of the bushes, they arrested him for burglary when a witness identified him as the same man who had broken into her house on the 400 block of Jersey Street.

The witness told officers Paul Weggenman and Andrew MacIlrath that she had exited and locked her house at 7 p.m. on June 29. When she returned an hour later, the woman heard a noise coming from her bedroom. She called out until the suspect finally came forward carrying a bag and remarking, "This is the only shit I could find." He also told her he was sick and needed money. Then he threw the bag on the floor and left the house.

Police found a glove in the suspect's pocket, which was later identified by the witness as her property. Also, the burglar apparently entered the house through a rear window by shattering the glass. Blood was found near the broken glass, and a blood sample was taken from the suspect, who was a resident of the 3400 block of 17th Street. He remains in custody, pending a court appearance.

I would like to commend the witness for her involvement and success. She maintained her composure and provided important information to police. However, I would not necessarily recommend her method to others faced with similar circumstances.

If you return to your home and hear the sounds of a person who should not be there, exit immediately and lock the door. Go to a neighbor's house and dial 911 to report a possible burglar inside your house.

Bloody Noses and Taxi Rides

On July 19 just after midnight, a 30-year-old man punched another man in the nose in a dispute over a taxicab ride. Officers Martha Juarez and Elena Teper responded and took the suspect to Mission Station, where he was booked on a battery charge. Note: If the man had been carrying proper i.d., he might have been released after being handed a citation to appear in court. But since he had no identification, he was arrested on the spot.

Dial D for Domestic Violence

On July 30, a 29-year-old woman and resident of the 4000 block of 25th Street reported receiving repeated phone threats and verbal harassment from her former boyfriend, who had battered her in 1996. Responding officers Joseph Buono and Patrick Tobin contacted Commissioner Agatha Hoff, who issued an "Emergency Protective Order" (restraining order) barring the suspect from any contact with the woman, pending further judicial review.

In another domestic violence case, a 38-year-old man and resident of the 300 block of San Jose Avenue reported that his former girlfriend violated a restraining order by calling him.

To Catch a Thief

Security personnel at Bell Market on 24th Street caught several shoplifters in June and July. Those with previous convictions for theft were charged with felony counts.

In a separate incident, a 30-year-old man and resident of the 1200 block of Noe Street was arrested for shoplifting at Just for Fun gift store. He was issued a citation to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge, since he had proper i.d. and no prior theft convictions.

A total of six suspects were arrested and charged with auto burglary within Noe Valley during June and July. All were males, and four were under the age of 18. One man was sent back to state prison. Another man pled guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years of probation.

Is the Safe Safe?

Sometime between store closing on June 30 and opening the next day, the safe within a store on the 3800 block of 24th Street was burglarized. Since there was no evidence of forced entry to the shop or the safe, the business owner told Officer Jack Wronski that the suspect was most likely a former employee who retained keys to the store. The owner was advised to change all the locks.

Wannabe Harley Thief Pleads Guilty

Remember the 29-year-old man who tried to steal a woman's Harley Davidson motorcycle from in front of Bell Market back in May 1996? He also injured a police officer when he attempted to flee. Well, on July 14 he finally pled guilty to auto theft in exchange for the d.a.'s dismissing the charges of assault and resisting arrest. The man received a six-month jail sentence and three years on probation.

Until next time, be safe and see you on patrol.

San Francisco Police Officer Lois Perillo, along with partner Lorraine Lombardo, covers her Noe Valley beat by foot and by bicycle. Her turf extends from 21st Street south to Cesar Chavez, and from Valencia west to Grand View. If you would like to report a nonemergency problem, call her at 558-5404. Or to file a police report, visit Mission Police Station at 630 Valencia St. Noe Valley residents who live south of Cesar Chavez should contact Ingleside Police at 553-1603.