The crimes below are a small snapshot of what the officers of Northern Station are doing. For a more comprehensive list, visit www.sf-police.org; under Compstat, there is a link to CrimeMAPS.
I.D. YOU DON’T
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 9:08 p.m.
600 Block Eddy St.
The manager of a hotel reported that an unauthorized male guest in his hotel might have used a fake I.D. Officers went to the room in question and were met by a man with a large, combat-style knife; the man was ordered into the hallway and the knife was removed for their safety. Several other people in the room were also detained; officers recognized people with prior arrests or other interactions; the man who had rented the room was on probation, a status that allowed the officers to search the room.
Their search proved productive, turning up multiple credit cards, I.D.s, numerous computers, laminate materials, checks with different names but the same address printed on them, DMV drivers license “blanks,” official DMV logos and stickers and other materials, and a small handbook titled “The Ultimate Fake ID Guide 2009.” The search also turned up several baggies of a substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine.
The subject, who had a long history of fraud and theft-related crimes, had lists of people’s Social Security numbers, addresses, and materials for forging credit cards and I.D. cards. The officers I.D.’d all of the people involved and booked the person in charge of the room at Northern Station.
Saturday, Jan. 19, 7:52 p.m.
17th at Church St.
While conducting a surveillance operation, plainclothes officers saw a couple approach a vehicle, get in, start the car, then turn it off and exit the car after a few minutes. The officers recognized the male from past arrests and contacts. After the couple left the area, the officers ran a computer check on the vehicle and discovered that it had been reported stolen. When the couple returned to the car, they were detained by the officers. The car’s owner showed up, informing the officers that his house had been burglarized a few weeks prior, which was probably when the car key was taken from his home.
The male had an outstanding parole warrant, and the female had several warrants for her arrest. During a booking counter search at Northern Stations, officers found stolen items, vehicle burglary items, and drugs on the male subject.
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 1:20 p.m.
800 Block of Franklin St.
A woman told police officers that she knew something wasn’t right: She had seen two males enter an apartment, and she knew they weren’t residents. The officers were able to gain entry to the building and then to the vacant apartment, where they found and detained the males, whom they recognized from an earlier arrest. One of the subjects was on probation with a search condition; the officers dutifully searched the male and found a small amount of methamphetamine.
With the building manager’s confirmation that the subjects were not supposed to be in the building — and the manager’s signed citizen’s arrest of the males for trespassing — the officers brought in the subjects to Northern Station, where one was booked into custody and the other was cited for trespassing and released.
Thursday, Jan. 24, 11:05 a.m.
1800 Block of Union St.
Responding to a report of a theft from a local business, officers spotted a vehicle with five people aboard, matching the description provided by the merchant. Despite their attempt to follow the vehicle, it sped away, running a red light in the process. The officers put out a description of the car and its direction of travel. Thanks to heavy mid-day street congestion, the vehicle got bogged down in traffic and assisting officers were able to locate it.
The five occupants were detained, and a computer check turned up warrants, probation records, and even a reported missing person. The merchant identified the females as the shop thieves, saying they had shown up and, when informed that the store was closing, grabbed fistfulls of sunglasses and ran to their getaway car.
Officers found several bags of stolen items, including several thousand dollars of designer sunglasses, plus “booster bags” that are used to bypass alarm systems during store thefts. The females were booked.
“YOUR CART’S ON FIRE!”
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2:05 a.m.
100 Block of Oak St.
Officers responding to a complaint detained a male who was sweaty and out of breath. According to a witness, the subject tried to set afire a white tarp that covered a shopping cart full of the victim’s property. The victim was a homeless person who was asleep nearby; he had been awakened when someone yelled “Your cart’s on fire!” When the victim yelled for the subject to stop, the subject ran away. The witness followed and called 911, which brought the officers.
The subject told the officers he had merely been trying to light a cigarette; officers searched him and found a lighter in his pocket. He was booked at Northern Station.
The homeless man said this was not the first time someone had tried to burn his belongings.
SPIT AND POLISH
Sunday, Jan. 27, 10:17 p.m.
O’Farrell at Larkin St.
Plainclothes officers observed a curious thing: A male put his hand to his mouth and spit out numerous items. He then showed these items to a bystander and made a hand-to-hand sale of narcotics.
The officers, who have made dozens of drug arrests in the area and know many of the drug dealers, knew that it is common for drug dealers to hold drugs in their mouths to conceal it from police; they simply spit it into their hands when they make the deal. When the officers approached the subjects, the dealer dropped the drugs onto the ground, but it didn’t make him fast enough to escape the police, who detained him along with 30 rocks of crack that he had dropped.
FAILED PHONE CONNECTION
Saturday, Jan. 28, 6:25 p.m.
Van Ness at Fulton St.
Officers responded to a call of a cell phone robbery in progress. The victim said a male had approached her from behind as she was looking at her phone. He tried to grab her phone, but she didn’t let him. He tried again to grab the phone, even pulling on her hair, but still she didn’t let him have it. He then fled. Officers tracked down the subject, who said he had merely been playing around with his friends and had accidentally “bumped” into the victim, and he only ran away when she started shouting. He was booked.