Vandals strike Chestnut Street

Merchants and neighbors frustrated, concerned
Vandals leave their mark Photo: Mike Crowley

Many local merchants work hard to make their storefronts a beautiful and integral part of our neighborhood shopping experience. Such pride of place draws residents and tourists alike to the unique atmosphere of San Francisco’s shopping districts, including Chestnut and Union Streets.

When vandals attack those very same improvements, it is expensive and frustrating for merchant and community alike.

On March 30, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Marina resident Mike Crowley heard a very loud noise on the street below his fourth floor apartment. He thought it was louder than what usually comes from drunken Friday-night revelers, and he saw he was right when he got down to the street early the next morning.

At the corner of Pierce and Chestnut Streets, four large ceramic planters that had housed decorative palms along the Pierce Street wall of Citibank lay in shattered ruins.

Crowley remembers that the landscapers who installed the plants had estimated the pots were worth $500 each and the palms $175 each. Total cost of the vandalism: $2,700 without labor.

“I regret I didn’t call 911 or go down to the street to confront those cowardly, low-life criminals,” said Mr. Crowley. “They deserve to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Crowley hoped Citi-bank might have had cameras on that side of the building so they might be able to identify the perpetrators, but they apparently did not.

Several local merchants noted off the record that given the expense a business invests in exterior improvements, it is difficult to justify repeatedly replacing damaged elements that are only for cosmetic value. This is the third time that Citibank’s own beautification efforts have been vandalized.

If merchants or patrons on Chestnut Street, or residents of Pierce or Toledo Streets, have any information about this pointless act of destruction, please call the SFPD Northern Station’s anonymous tip line at 415-885-5187. You can also send an anonymous tip by text by entering either TIP411 or 847411 in the “To” field, and the keyword SFPD in the text field, followed by your message.

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