Police Blotter

Captain Engler responds to concern over new D.A.

Northern Station Capt. Joseph Engler made his views known on some of the recent controversies swirling around the police force and the city’s elected officials. Writing in his newsletter shortly after the November election, Engler stated that he had been hearing from people “concerned about the direction of public safety” in San Francisco. “The majority of the questions were about campaign promises made by newly elected political candidates,” he wrote, adding that people were also concerned about “inflammatory statements made by sitting elected officials” directed at the police union.

Though he did not mention by name newly elected District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who has promised to move away from a tough-on-crime approach, or supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who led a profane chant against the police union at Boudin’s election night event, Engler defended officers and the work they do to keep people safe.

He ended on a somewhat optimistic note, writing that “There is no question that 2020 will continue to challenge all of us in the areas of homelessness, addiction and mental health services. Through a steady diet of community policing by all of us who make up the community, I am confident that positive change can and will occur. … I remain hopeful that through all of us working together, [there] is no challenge that cannot be overcome.”

Here’s a sampling of recent crimes in the districts covered by the Central and Northern SFPD stations.


Nov. 7, 1:45 p.m.

Various locations

A theft victim told officers that she was sitting inside a cafe near an open window, working on her laptop, when a subject approached her, reached through the cafe window, and took her laptop. The subject then jumped into a vehicle and fled the scene.

Video footage of the incident allowed the officers to immediately identify the subject, thanks to multiple incidents where they interacted with him in the past. They kept an eye out for the subject, and on Nov. 28 at 9:11 a.m., officers spotted the subject walking on Divisadero Street. The officers arrested him without incident.


Nov. 27, 4:32 a.m.

Location not provided

While stopped at a traffic light, officers conducted a computer check on the vehicle ahead of them and found that it was reported stolen out of San Mateo County. They then performed a traffic stop and ordered both subjects to exit the vehicle, which they did.

The first subject was arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle. In a search of the first subject, officers found numerous drivers licenses belonging to various victims. While locating victims, they learned that the subject used the credit card of one victim to rent the vehicle that was later reported as stolen.

The second subject provided false I.D. information to the officers; various narcotics paraphernalia were also found on this subject. Both subjects were booked in jail on a series of charges.


Dec. 3, 7:59 a.m.

Location not provided

A male victim flagged down patrol officers and told them that an acquaintance of his attacked him because of a dispute over the attacker’s girlfriend. The victim said he was walking in an alleyway when the subject approached him and punched him in the face; he then took off his belt and began to whip the victim with it.

The victim sustained minor injuries, including a bloody nose, and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital. Officers were able to arrest the subject on the scene.


Dec. 6, 12:34 a.m.

1450 Chestnut Street

Officers on patrol spotted what appeared to be a burglary in progress. They witnessed the subjects looking into the lobby of a building and appearing to be attempting to gain unlawful entry. When the officers approached them, the subjects began to walk away quickly. They were then detained for further investigation.

Both subjects turned out to be on parole or probation with a search condition, so officers conducted a search and discovered numerous burglary tools and narcotics paraphernalia on them. The subjects also had two bicycles, which were booked as property for safekeeping, because the subjects were unable to prove ownership of the bikes.

One subject was booked and the second was transported to San Francisco General Hospital due to an illness.


Oct. 15, 3:30 a.m., 1000 block of Larkin Street: A victim was followed and surrounded by several suspects. The victim fell to the ground and was assaulted by the suspects, who also took the victim’s wallet.

Oct. 16, 2:10 a.m., Jones at Pine Streets: A victim was loading items into his vehicle when he suddenly heard someone say, “What’s up, man?” As the victim turned, the suspect struck the victim with an unknown object.

Oct. 16, 1 p.m., 800 block of Jones Street: A victim was approached by an individual who demanded the victim’s wallet and then used a firearm to strike the victim in the face.

Nov. 17, 8:15 a.m., 600 block of Green Street: A victim was pistol-whipped by the suspect, who also took his chain.

Nov. 18, 5 p.m., Powell at Union Streets: Several suspects attacked a victim on a Muni bus.

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