Visitors to the neighborhoodscout.com website can check the ranking of their city against national statistics. How does San Francisco fare? On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the safest, neighborhoodscout ranks San Francisco a solid 3, meaning it is safer than 3 percent of U.S. cities. Not something you would want to add to your tourism ads.
You can also look at the numbers provided by the San Francisco Police Department, which paint a more complicated picture. Things differ, as we know, from neighborhood to neighborhood and by type of crime.
The crimes that Marina Times readers complain about the most are thefts from and of cars — a significant problem in a city where even many expensive homes do not have off-street parking. For the period between November 2013 through November 2014, auto thefts were up 7 percent and thefts from autos were up 13 percent in the Northern District; citywide, auto thefts were up 13 percent and thefts from vehicles were up 10 percent.
Meanwhile, violent crimes were down significantly across the city. Homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were down an average of 25 percent in the Northern District (a nearly identical 24 percent decline citywide).
The crimes below are a small snapshot of what the officers of Northern Station are doing. For a more comprehensive list, visit sf-police.org; under Compstat, select the link to Crimemaps.
THIS IS WHY HE DRINKS ALONE
Dec. 5, 8:32 a.m.
Larkin at Cedar Streets
Uniformed officers noticed a male drinking a 24-ounce beer and stopped to advise him about violating the law against consuming alcoholic beverages in public. As the officers approached him, the subject stated, “Oh, God, really?” He continued to drink his beer, ignoring the officers. He was ordered to put down the beer and present his identification. A computer check showed five warrants for his arrest, including a warrant for threatening to kill a police officer.
He was arrested and transported to Northern Station. During the ride back, the subject ranted at the officers, including telling them to “let me out of the car; your names will be on the report. Expect a visit from my friends, they’re Hell’s Angels.” He also made various threats regarding remembering their names and faces and killing the officers and/or their families. He was booked at Northern Station on charges of threat or force to resist an executive officer, a municipal code violation, and multiple warrant violations.
Dec. 6, 9:55 a.m.
1900 Block of Post Street
A subject in a store claimed to have a gun, but no gun was seen. A caller who alerted police said that the subject grabbed numerous items and was heading out the door without paying for them. The caller confronted the subject and told him to return or pay for the items, but the subject said, “Don’t touch me; I have a gun.”
The caller grabbed the subject’s arm, because he thought the subject was going to pull out a gun. Another employee grabbed the subject’s other arm, telling him to return the stolen items he had stuffed into his coat. The subject returned the items and left the store, but he was quickly apprehended by police. He was positively ID’d by the caller and was booked at Northern Station for attempted robbery with a gun.
AUTO BURGLARY, PART 345,607
Dec. 7, 2:55 a.m.
Frank Norris at Larkin Streets
Officers responded to a call about a possible auto burglary in progress, with the victim fighting with the subject. Officers arrived to see the two men grabbing at each other; they were separated and identified. The caller told police he returned to his car to find the subject inside it, going through the glove box and elsewhere, looking for items to steal. The victim grabbed the subject and held him until officers arrived. The subject was arrested and later booked on charges of theft from a locked vehicle, possession of burglary tools, and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.
END OF A ROBBERY CAREER
Dec. 13, 4:35 a.m.
Ellis at Polk Streets
Officers were called to the area regarding an armed robbery. The victim told officers that he was walking down Ellis Street and felt uneasy, as if he were being followed. He turned around and was confronted by a male subject with a mask covering his face and pointing a gun. The subject pushed the gun into the victim’s stomach and said, “Give me everything you got.” The subject felt through the victim’s pockets, taking a few items of little value.
Officers had similar robbery reports that same day of a subject pointing a silver handgun at people and robbing them. Assisting officers had a subject detained two blocks away, and a cold show of the subject was positive — the victim confirmed that the officers had the correct person. A search of the subject revealed a silver “replica” handgun. Northern Station investigators were able to put together the series of robberies carried out by the subject, who was booked on multiple counts of robbery.