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Police Beat is a monthly roundup of crimes reported in Noe Valley, which the Voice defines as the area bounded by Grand View, 21st, Fair Oaks, and 30th streets. The following crime summaries were culled from incident reports filed at Mission and Ingleside police stations during the month of February 2003.
Theft from Merchant: 2:55 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1; 3900 block of 24th Street
Shortly before 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, a passerby ran up to a police officer on patrol near 24th and Vicksburg to report that a man had stolen an espresso machine on sale at a café in the 3900 block of 24th Street. When the officer spotted the suspect at the Muni stop at 24th and Church and asked to speak to him, the man ran down 24th Street toward Chattanooga. The suspect disappeared down 23rd Street, and the officer was unable to catch him. However, the passerby who had reported the incident told the officer the suspect had left the espresso machine at the corner of 24th and Church. The officer retrieved the machine and returned it to the café, where the manager identified it. He told the officer that witnesses had seen the suspect take it from a shelf, wrap it in newspaper, and leave. The espresso machine was slightly damaged in the incident.
Shoplifting: 2:40 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1; 4000 block of 24th Street
On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 1, a man entered a wine shop in the 4000 block of 24th Street. As the man was leaving the store after looking around for a bit, an employee who was working at the counter noticed that the man appeared to have hidden a bottle of wine in his pants leg. The owner of the store then discovered that a $100 bottle of wine was missing from the shelf.
Residential Burglary: Between 4:30 and 10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1; 1300 block of Sanchez Street
A resident of the 1300 block of Sanchez near 26th Street exited his home at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, to go to dinner. He left a bathroom window open slightly. When he returned home at 10 p.m., he noticed that the window was completely open. He checked his bedroom and discovered that an antique wedding band, a designer watch, and his Sony headphones were missing from the top of his dresser. A Hewlett-Packard laptop computer was missing from the desk in another bedroom. Because the resident had touched the bathroom window prior to the police's arrival and because no other physical evidence was apparent, Crime Scene Investigations was not called. The case has been assigned to the San Francisco Police Department's Burglary Detail.
Petty Theft: 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4; 4000 block of 24th Street
Shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, an employee and the owner of a flower store in the 4000 block of 24th Street flagged down a patrol car after witnessing a man walk by the shop, grab 10 bouquets of flowers from a stand outside the store, and leave without paying for them. The employee and the owner stopped the man in front of another store a few doors down. Police arrested the suspect for petty theft and took him to Mission Station for booking. A records search showed that the 66-year-old suspect had been jailed previously for attempted burglary and petty theft.
Theft from Locked Vehicle: Between 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, and 6 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6; 3500 block of 22nd Street
At 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, a man parked and locked his 1988 Ford F150 truck on the 3500 block of 22nd Street near Dolores. When he returned to his vehicle early the next morning, he discovered that the black rubber seal around his rear window had been pulled off and the window pried out. A CD player, garage door opener, power drill, briefcase, cell phone, set of keys, and two pairs of glasses were among the things missing from the truck. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Residential Burglary: Between 12:30 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6; 500 block of Duncan Street
A couple who live in the 500 block of Duncan Street near Noe left their home at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6. When they returned at 7 p.m., they noticed nothing out of the ordinary. The next morning, however, they discovered that three cameras were missing from the dining room table and a laptop computer was missing from a bedroom.
They did not hear any noises or disturbances during the night. Police found no signs of forced entry, and the residents believe they may have left their back door unlocked while they were away from home on Feb. 6. Crime Scene Investigations was called to the home to check for fingerprints. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Malicious Mischief/Vandalism to Property: 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 10; 1700 block of Church Street
At 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, a 15-year-old boy walked into a café in the 1700 block of Church Street near 30th. He allegedly cut in front of a line of customers and told the owner of the café to warm up a burrito he was carrying. The owner told the boy to get in line with the rest of the customers. The youth then left, only to return minutes later and throw the burrito toward the front counter. The burrito hit a shelf on the back wall of the café and broke three tall drinking glasses. The teen ran away and boarded a Muni train.
A day later, the café owner spotted the boy hanging out with a group of teenagers at the bus stop near his shop. He pointed out the boy to a police officer patrolling the area. The officer detained him, and the boy said, "I just went inside to get my burrito warmed up. I didn't throw it." The boy was then taken to Ingleside Station, cited and released to his father, who came to the station to pick him up. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Juvenile Division.
Burglary of Apartment House: Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11; 4100 block of Cesar Chavez Street
Upon returning home from work at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, the owner of an apartment building in the 4100 block of Cesar Chavez Street near Noe noticed that the front door of a tenant's apartment had been vandalized. The door lock was missing, the door jamb was damaged, and pieces of wood were lying on the ground. The tenant was not at home. The owner then went into another apartment, which was vacant, and discovered that a window with access to the building's backyard had been broken.
When police arrived, they searched the backyard and discovered a freshly discarded Budweiser can on a path leading to a short wooden fence. When the tenant of the burglarized apartment arrived on the scene, he found that a digital camera, CD burner, watch, headphones, cigarette lighter, and many CDs were missing from his living room and bedroom.
Due to lack of other physical evidence, Crime Scene Investigations was not notified. The beer can was booked as evidence at Mission Station, and the case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Residential Burglary: Between noon on Saturday, Feb. 15, and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16; 200 block of 29th Street
A resident of the 200 block of 29th Street near Dolores left her home at noon on Saturday, Feb. 15. When she returned at 6:30 p.m. the next day, she walked into the kitchen to let her dog out through the back door and noticed that the dog door had been pushed up and the back door unlocked. She also noticed that a window screen next to the door was bent and a white lawn chair had been tipped over. She went into her bedroom and found her dresser drawers open and her jewelry boxes moved around. Several pieces of fine jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, a pair of earrings, and a designer watch, were missing from the bedroom, along with two Dell laptop computers.
Police responded to the home, and called Crime Scene Investigations for additional follow-up. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Residential Burglary: Between 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, and 7 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 17; 1300 block of Noe Street
In the early morning of Monday, Feb. 17, a resident returned to his home in the 1300 block of Noe near 26th Street, after being gone since late Saturday afternoon. He found the front door wide open and several items, including a paint sprayer, toolbox, hand drill, computer printer, and Toshiba docking station (laptop accessory), missing from his garage and kitchen.
After arriving on the scene, police noticed that the front door had been forced open and the door jamb damaged. The home was undergoing remodeling, so the resident had not been living on the premises. Police contacted Crime Scene Investigations for follow-up. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Petty Theft: Noon on Sunday, Feb. 16; 3900 block of 24th Street
At noon on Sunday, Feb. 16, the manager of a coffee shop in the 3900 block of 24th Street saw a man come into the store. The manager then went to use the men's room and left other employees at the counter to tend to customers. Soon, the man began pounding on the men's room door. The manager told the man he would be out soon. When he returned to duty, the manager heard employees yelling that the same man had "got the tip jar." The manager looked out the store window and saw the suspect get on a red-brick-colored mountain bike and flee east on 24th Street and south on Sanchez. The tip jar contained $20. The suspect was described as a 45-year-old white male, 5879, 140 pounds with blond hair. He was wearing blue jeans, a baseball derby jacket, a baseball cap, and tennis shoes.
Bicycle Theft: Between 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, and 8:40 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17; 26th and Castro streets
A man parked and locked his bicycle on the corner of 26th and Castro streets at 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16. When he returned at 8:40 p.m. the next day, his bicycle--a green seven-speed Dahon Express folding model--was missing, along with his bicycle lock and rear rack.
Shoplifting: 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16; 3800 block of 24th Street
At 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, a woman walked into a liquor store in the 3800 block of 24th Street and took three bottles of Patron tequila from the shelf, placed them in a shopping bag, and walked out of the store. The suspect is described as a white female in her late 30s, 5889, 150 pounds, with dark curly hair and red spots on her chin. She was wearing a long black leather coat and red pants.
Malicious Mischief/Vandalism to Vehicle: 3:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19; 1300 block of Noe Street
At 3:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, a resident of the 1300 block of Noe Street near 26th Street heard screaming outside his window. He looked and saw a large crowd of teenagers gathered near his Toyota Avalon. Two of the teens began to fight near his car. The resident yelled, "Get away from my car," and the group of teens left the area. He then went to check on his car and noticed a dent on the rear passenger side. One of the teens who had participated in the fight was still hanging around and told the resident that he and another boy had arranged to have a fight after school because the other boy had been teasing him. He said the boy had pushed him against the resident's car, presumably causing the dent.
Suspicious Occurrence/Verbal Threats: 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19; Castro and Jersey streets
A panhandler reported to police that she had been "threatened and intimidated" by another female panhandler and now feared for her safety. The two women had been arguing over whose territory it was to sell the Street Sheet, a publication of the city's Coalition on Homelessness. The panhandler said the other woman had demanded she hand over her copies of the Street Sheet and told her, "You've been here too long. You've got to move on." The first woman also claimed that at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the corner of Castro and Jersey streets, the other woman threatened her, saying, "If I find you talking to [police], I am going to beat you down and catch you at 24th and Mission when you're on your way home and I'll have someone hurt you." The threat allegedly was made in front of another panhandler, a male.
Burglary of Flat: Between 8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23; 300 block of Duncan Street
A resident of the 300 block of Duncan near Church Street returned to her flat at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, after being gone for two days. She discovered that several bracelets, including a two-carat diamond tennis bracelet and a gold watch, were missing from her bedroom. An Olympus camera also was missing from her kitchen table. Police believe the suspect entered through an open bedroom window, which was accessible from the roof of the building. Crime Scene Investigations was called to check for fingerprints. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Hot Prowl Burglary: Between 12:30 and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22; 1000 block of Noe Street
At 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, a resident left his apartment in the 1000 block of Noe near 23rd Street. One of his roommates was out of town, and the other was at home at the time. When he returned at 7:30 a.m. the next day, the front door was unlocked and open. The back door also was unlocked, and his roommate was asleep. He then discovered that his $1,200 bicycle was missing from his bedroom. In addition, a Leatherman knife had been taken from his backpack, and two credit cards were missing from the top drawer of his desk. He also noticed that paper from his printer had been placed in his backpack and that two keys were missing from the kitchen table. His roommate told him that he had been home all night and that he had gone to bed at 12:30 a.m. and heard no noise. Crime Scene Investigations was called for follow-up. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail.
Burglary of Apartment House: Between 9 a.m. and 5:25 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24; 3900 block of 22nd Street
Shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24, the resident of a three-unit apartment building in the 3900 block of 22nd Street near Castro called police to report that he had seen a man in the rear stairwell of his building, eating ice cream and holding items he believed to be stolen. The resident asked the man to leave several times, but he refused and told the resident that he was doing work for "the people downstairs." The resident became concerned when the man could not tell him the correct names of his neighbors. He threatened to call police if the man would not leave, and the man told him that he had lost his car keys and could not leave.
The man then walked to his car, which was parked in front of the building, and began filling two large white pillowcases with small objects from the car. The resident saw the man carry the loaded pillowcases to Castro Street. He then returned to his car, where police found him when they arrived on the scene. Police detained the man and searched the apartment building and discovered that the back door of one unit had been forced open and was badly damaged. No one was inside the unit, which was in disarray with items strewn about.
When the residents of the ransacked apartment arrived, they recognized the man as having visited their home over a year ago with a mutual friend. Police located the two pillowcases in the bushes in front of a building in the 900 block of Castro Street. The pillowcases were filled with items ranging from fine jewelry to electronics equipment to cashmere sweaters, credit cards, and a collection of bills and receipts with account numbers and personal information. The residents of the ransacked apartment identified all the items as theirs, including the pillowcases. Police then contacted a third tenant in the building to find out if his home had been burglarized. He told them that nothing was missing from his unit, but that his tool kit was gone from the back porch.
The suspect was arrested for burglary, and Crime Scene Investigations was called to the building for follow-up. The case has been assigned to the SFPD's Burglary Detail. h
The Voice thanks Mission Police Officer Lorraine Lombardo and Ingleside Police Officer Mike Smith for providing the incident reports for this month's Police Beat. The reports were summarized by Kathy Dalle-Molle.
Your Links to the SFPD
Noe Valley residents and merchants are invited to attend police-community meetings held monthly in the Mission and Ingleside police districts. The next meeting at Mission Station will be Tuesday, April 29, 6 p.m., at 630 Valencia Street near 17th Street. The next Ingleside meeting will be Tuesday, April 15, 7 p.m., at Ingleside Station, 1 Sgt. John Young Lane, off the 2000 block of San Jose Avenue.
Residents and merchants who live or work north of Cesar Chavez Street can report recurring problems by phoning Mission Station at 558-5400. (To report anonymously on drugs, gangs, or other crimes, call the non-traceable hotline at 558-5452.)
Those who live or work in "outer" Noe Valley--south of Cesar Chavez--can reach Ingleside Station by calling 404-4000 or e-mailing Capt. Kevin Dillon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report a crime in progress, call 911. (Cell phone users, dial 553-8090.) To notify police about a non-emergency situation, call 553-0123.