Police Blotter

Smash-and-grabs and death: Perils in the city

The Northside ended spring having experienced two murders. Early on May 20 on the 100 block of Alhambra Street, a man believed to be homeless was found to have suffered a gunshot wound. Northern Station Captain John Jaimerena says, “All efforts were made to save this male’s life, but he passed away a day later.” He asks that anyone with information should contact Sgt. Scott Warnke at 415-553-9249.

In the early hours of June 2 on the 2500 block of Van Ness Avenue, there was a second homicide. Jaimerena reports that that was followed quickly with an arrest by Northern Station’s officers.

There was another death on June 22 that was not a murder, but was perhaps all the more tragic for it. A teenage girl hiking at Land’s End with two friends fell to her death. Rescuers had trouble reaching her because of the dangerous location, but they finally did get her; however, she died while in the ambulance.

According to the United States Park Police, investigation by its Criminal Investigations Unit showed that the girl “and two other juveniles had parked a vehicle along El Camino Del Mar. All three juveniles walked down to a fence that has a sign indicating “Danger Area Closed.” All three juveniles disregarded this sign and made their way through this fence and walked to the Painted Rock cliffs’ edge. … At some point, one of the juveniles fell approximately 150 to 200 feet and landed on a large rock.

“We ask the public to adhere to all signage in the park and even in approved hiking areas, the public should keep a safe distance from all cliff edges.”

In less deadly but still troubling crime news, Jaimerena reports that auto burglaries continue to plague the Northside and that “we have made it the highest priority to apprehend the individuals involved.” He notes that in each of the situations described below, arrests were made in cases that all resulted from people calling the police to alert them to the crimes. The lesson here: Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.

The crimes below are just a small selection of the occurrences in the Northside. For more info, visit the SFPD website, select “compstat” to find a link to crime maps.


June 3, 3:01 p.m.

Cleary at Laguna Street

Two male juveniles were reported to be peering into the window of a light-blue sedan. Both were wearing black hoodies. Uniformed officers arrived on the scene, and when the subjects saw the officers, they began running away. The officers took off after them, catching up and taking them into custody without incident.

The officers then retraced the suspects’ path and found a backpack, which was positively identified by the owner of the vehicle as his. The rear window of the car had also been broken. Both subjects were transported to Northern Station.


June 4, 11:59 a.m.

Franklin at Golden Gate Avenue

Officers were told that a suspect—wearing a black hat, black jacket, jeans, and gloves, and carrying a black backpack—was casing vehicles. He had been spotted on a BMX bike, trying to look into a Jeep Compass.

A plainclothes officer arrived and watched the suspect burglarize a vehicle and then leave on his bike. The officer alerted other officers, who moved in and detained the suspect without incident. The suspect was searched and found to have a lot of U.S. currency and suspected narcotics, possibly methamphetamine, in his pockets. He also had an open wound on his leg, so he was taken to the hospital and, once medically cleared to leave, was booked at County Jail.


June 5, 8:08 p.m.

Hickory at Franklin Street

A crime-committing duo were reported to be boosting an auto. They were described as a male and female pair, and officers quickly recognized them from previous contacts.

The two were frantically trying to get into a cab to leave the area. The officers stopped and detained both suspects. They found that the suspects had a stolen duffle bag, as well as a screwdriver and a glass pipe used for smoking meth. A computer check on the suspects showed that they were on court probation for burglary with a warrantless search condition. They were booked at County Jail.


June 5, 2:51 a.m.

1400 block of Sutter Street

Officers responded to a report of an auto burglary. They were informed that the male suspect, about 35–42 years old and wearing the de rigueur auto-booster’s uniform of dark jacket and dark hat, was using a flashlight to look through a vehicle.

The officers arrived and detained the suspect. A neighbor came out to meet the officers and confirmed “That is the guy I saw break into the vehicle.” The rear window of the vehicle was shattered, and the suspect was carrying a bag containing burglary tools and the victim’s personal property, including identification and credit cards.

A computer check revealed that this suspect was also on active probation for burglary. He was booked at County Jail.


June 5, 2:30 p.m.

2000 block of Bay Street

The owner of a vehicle told the police that he had locked his vehicle and left for a few hours, only to return to find the rear driver’s-side window smashed and a purse missing from inside the vehicle.

Then a witness told the officers that he had seen a Mercedes pull up alongside the victim’s vehicle, an unknown male got out, broke the window, and took the purse. The officers got a description of the suspect and his Benz and broadcast it to other police units. Within minutes, officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that matched the description and saw that there was a beige purse in the backseat of the vehicle. The victim was brought to the scene and identified the purse.

Officers also located a large quantity of what they suspected was marijuana in the vehicle. County Jail chalked up another booking that day.


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