Noe Valley Voice February 2002

Police Beat

Plant Thief Alert

Bill Rosen, who lives at the corner of Jersey and Dolores streets, wants to alert Noe Valley residents that he and his neighbors have been the victims of several garden thefts over the past few months.

In late October, Rosen had a large rosebush taken from his yard in the middle of the night. Then, in mid-November, an unknown thief or thieves dug up five olive trees from Rosen's and his next-door neighbor's front yard. The thieves must have been interrupted while attempting to steal the trees because they left them behind, along with "a big mess," says Rosen.

Volunteers from the group Friends of the Urban Forest were able to successfully replant the trees, and Rosen's neighbor has tied jingle bells on the tree stakes to deter future vandalism. (Friends of the Urban Forest also recommends installing motion-detector lights.)

The latest theft -- of holiday wreaths neighbors had hung on their front doors -- occurred in December. "It's a little unnerving," says Rosen. "We're really concerned about the security of our outside foliage."

New Captain at Mission Station

Greg Corrales, a 32-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, joined Mission Station as captain on Jan. 7. Corrales replaced Ron Roth, who is now part of SFPD's 200-officer force at the San Francisco Airport.

Corrales has spent the past nine months as a night captain working out of the Hall of Justice on Bryant Street. Before that, he was with the department's Auto Theft and Hit-and-Run Detail for four years. He also served a six-month stint as captain of Ingleside Station and four years in the Narcotics Division.

When the Voice caught up with Corrales, he was headed to Washington, D.C., for a weeklong seminar on responding to terrorist acts, but he has promised the Voice a sit-down interview for our March issue.

In the meantime, Corrales wants Noe Valley to know that as a former resident (he lived on the 3900 block of 24th Street from 1973 to 1981), he has "a strong interest in the neighborhood. Like anyone who's ever lived in Noe Valley, I have a special place in my heart for the area.

"And," he adds, "no one has to tell me there's a parking problem in Noe Valley."

Police Reports

The following crime summaries were culled from incident reports filed at Mission Police Station in November and December 2001.

Obstruction of Sidewalk and Trespassing: In the morning hours of Nov. 7 and Nov. 23, 2001; 3900 block of 24th Street

An Elizabeth Street resident was walking along the 3900 block of 24th Street at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, when an apparently homeless man, about 58109 and weighing 180 pounds, blocked her path. The resident told police that the suspect was "within inches of her body" and asked her for money. She also said she felt "in danger of being hurt."

Two weeks later, on Friday, Nov. 23, at 11 a.m., the same man was booked at Mission Station following a call to police by the manager of a grocery store on 24th Street. The manager told police that the suspect had taken a brown bag from the store and was loitering near its entrance, refusing to leave. The night before, the suspect had allegedly shoplifted cookies from the store. The previous week, the manager said, he had taken a carton of Marlboro cigarettes and "bully-panhandled" a female passerby into giving him money.

Employees of a coffee store on the 3900 block of 24th Street also informed police that the suspect had been observed spitting in a customer's coffee cup. A resident of 21st Street reported that the same man had blocked his path on 24th Street, putting himself "at an uncomfortable distance and then asking for money."

According to the police report, the suspect had been arrested for narcotics use in January of 2001 but failed to show up at court on three subsequent occasions.

Postscript: Noe Valley Beat Officer Lorraine Lombardo reports that the suspect, a 39-year-old man who had been homeless, entered a nine-month drug and alcohol treatment program in early January and will be off the streets for a while.

Shoplifting: 11:55 a.m. on Dec. 1.; 3800 and 3900 blocks of 24th Street

Five minutes before noon on Saturday, Dec. 1, police received a report of a shoplifting incident at a jewelry store in the 3900 block of 24th Street. En route to the store, police spotted the suspect, a 38-year-old woman in jeans and a black coat with a leopard-print collar, and stopped her for questioning. The suspect was carrying a shopping bag that contained three silver and gemstone necklaces valued at $203. The suspect admitted taking the necklaces from the jewelry store, and a store employee positively identified her.

Police also found in the bag a $95 pair of tennis shoes, a $36 T-shirt, and a $64 sweatshirt with price tags from a clothing store on the 3800 block of 24th Street. After an employee of the clothing store confirmed the loss of the merchandise, the suspect confessed that she had stolen the items and apologized for doing so. The suspect, who has prior convictions for petty theft, was taken to Mission Station for booking.

Vandalism to Vehicle: Between 9 a.m. on Dec. 1 and 11 a.m. on Dec. 3; 600 block of Elizabeth Street

A woman parked her BMW sedan in the driveway of her parents' Elizabeth Street home on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 1. When she returned two days later, she found the car's trunk had been etched with two three-foot-long marks evidently made with a key. The week before, the left passenger door had been similarly "keyed" while the car was parked in the driveway. The woman also told police that her brother had had his pickup truck keyed on Nov. 16, while parked in the same driveway, and that several neighbors had complained of having their vehicles damaged. Unfortunately, there were no witnesses to the keying incidents and the suspect or suspects remain unknown.

Brandishing a Deadly Weapon:
8:25 p.m. on Dec. 16; 3800 block of 24th Street

Around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, a Sanchez Street resident was using one of the two pay phones on the southwest corner of 24th and Church streets when a man using the other pay phone began to hit the phone's receiver against the phone booth. The Sanchez Street resident told the man, "Stop banging. Can't you see that people are trying to use the f- - - - - g phone?" The other man responded, "F- - - you. I'll do what I want." He then crossed the street and got into a white Chevrolet van. The resident then looked toward the van and saw the suspect pointing a blue-steel handgun. The resident ran into a nearby store to call police, and the man in the van drove away.

The resident obtained a partial license-plate number for the van, but the police failed to find a match in DMV records. When officers arrived at the scene, they gave the resident a case number and a victim-of-violent-crime form.

Residential Burglary: Between
11 p.m. on Dec. 20 and 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 21; 200 block of Fair Oaks Street

The resident of a home on the 200 block of Fair Oaks Street told police that he locked the door of his basement office around 11 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20. The next morning, when he went downstairs to his office, he noticed that the door was wide open and that two laptop computers valued at $6,000, along with two cameras valued at $1,400 and a mountain bike valued at $500, were missing.

Police found no signs of forced entry and therefore did not call Crime Scene Investigations to the home. However, they assigned a case number and gave the resident loss forms to fill out.

Vandalism to Property: Between
6 p.m. on Dec. 22 and 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 23; 3900 block of 24th Street

Police responded to a call that an unknown suspect had dumped motor oil over the front door and side windows of a shoe store in the 3900 block of 24th Street sometime during the night of Saturday, Dec. 22. By the time the incident was reported, the oil had spread to the sidewalk in front of the store, creating a hazard for passersby. A Department of Public Works employee responded to the scene to clean up the motor oil. An employee of the store told police that she had no idea who could have vandalized the storefront since the store's customers appeared to be happy with their purchases.

The Voice thanks Noe Valley Beat Officer Lorraine Lombardo for providing the incident reports for this month's Police Beat. The reports were summarized by Kathy Dalle-Molle.

SFPD Police Contacts

Noe Valley falls under the wing of two San Francisco police districts -- Mission and Ingleside.

The Mission Police District, headquartered at Mission Station at 630 Valencia Street, covers the northern half of Noe Valley, from 21st Street to Cesar Chavez, as well as most of the Castro and the Mission. To report a recurring crime or safety problem, residents may:

* Phone the station at 558-5400.

* Send e-mail to

* Report anonymously on drugs, gangs, or other crime by calling the nontraceable hotline 558-5452.

* Attend the police-community meetings held at Mission Station the last Tuesday of the month. The next meeting will be Feb. 26 at 6 p.m.

The Ingleside Police District covers the southern half of Noe Valley (south of Cesar Chavez), Glen Park, and several other neighborhoods. Residents may attend the police-community meetings held the third Tuesday of the month at Ingleside Station, 1 Sergeant John Young Lane, near the 2000 block of San Jose Avenue. The next meeting will be held Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.

To contact Ingleside Station, call 404-4000 or e-mail Captain Marsha Ashe at

To report a crime in progress, call 911. (Cell phone users, dial 553-8090.)