Northern Station Newsletter
Captain Greg McEachern
March 26, 2014
As we move from winter into spring the event season in our district begins. During the month of April we have a number of events taking place in and about the Northern District. The events include the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” half marathon on Sunday April 6th which will pass through the Marina District, the Polk Street corridor, and culminate at the Civic Center. The Cherry Blossom Festival the weekends of April 12th and 13th and 19th and 20th in Japantown which includes the Cherry Blossom parade on the 20th from the Civic Center to Japan Town and the annual Easter Parade on Union Street the morning of April 20th. We will have a police presence at all these events to ensure public safety and we hope to see many of you at these events partaking in the rich cultural significance each event has. Also be aware that traffic in these areas will be impacted during these weekends so plan on some delays and utilize public transit whenever possible.
As mentioned in the last newsletter traffic safety continues to be a priority for our department and Northern Station. We have conducted numerous traffic operations since the beginning of the year focusing on every aspect of traffic safety from vehicles, to bicyclists, to pedestrians. The operations have been both educational and enforcement driven and we issued a significant amount of citations over the past three months. In comparison, during the three month period of Jan-Mar 2013 we issued nearly 1475 citations and through the same months in 2014, through yesterday, we have issued 2246 citations, a nearly 42 percent increase. We are committed to reducing the number of traffic collisions in the city and we’re hopeful that the increased enforcement and education will help reduce these numbers significantly. Expect that the enforcement and education will continue, in earnest, throughout the remainder of the year. April is distracted driver awareness month. We will be specifically focusing on distracted driving including texting and talking on cell phones so please don’t text or talk on your cell phone while driving. Our focus will be throughout the district with special emphasis on the high traffic corridors including Van Ness, Polk, Geary, Bush, Pine, Gough, Franklin, Fillmore and Lombard Street.
On a separate note related to reducing vehicle and pedestrian collisions, below is information related to rules of the road for pedestrians when crossing at controlled intersections. Many of you may not be aware of the laws related to walk and don’t walk electric signs at crosswalks and may not be aware that it is a violation to leave the curb to cross the street after the sign has changed from walk to don’t walk (flashing red hand). If already in the crosswalk you can proceed but leaving the curb to cross the street, once the sign has changed to don’t walk, is prohibited. Here is the exact language of the vehicle code and it’s worth reading and knowing as you walk throughout the city.
21456. Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:
(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.
(b) Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.
21452. (a) A driver facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal is, by that signal, warned that the related green movement is ending or that a red indication will be shown immediately thereafter.
(b) A pedestrian facing a steady circular yellow or a yellow arrow signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in Section 21456, is, by that signal, warned that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway and shall not enter the roadway.
Now on to crime matters….As you can see below, crime in the City and in the Northern District is down year to date. This is overall in both violent crimes and property crimes. However, both in the City and in the Northern we have seen an increase in residential burglaries. When I have attended community meetings I have mentioned the increase and noted that the break-ins have been facilitated through open windows and doors and even through physical damage to doors with tools used to break the doors and locks. As part of being aware I’ve asked all community members to report suspicious activity and people in your area that you believe may be involved in criminal activity so that we can contact the individuals and determine if they are tied to criminal activity.
On a positive note related to residential burglaries I am pleased to say that within the last three weeks we believe we have cracked a significant burglary ring that was operating in our district and apprehended individuals responsible for numerous burglaries. About four weeks ago a couple of individuals were arrested and were tied to eight residential burglaries, all within the Northern District. Last week, a couple more burglaries occurred and officers responded to investigate. Based on information from the prior burglaries, our prior arrests, and good old fashioned police work, our street crimes unit along with Northern Stations Investigations unit again arrested two individuals believed to have committed the burglaries that day and on other occasions. The subsequent investigation led to an outside jurisdiction and a local motel where search warrants recovered numerous stolen items from local burglaries hidden in a u-haul truck. The items included clothing, jewelry, family heirlooms and other items that investigators are sifting through to return to their rightful owners. In all, the individuals arrested last week, with the stolen property, are believed to be tied to at least eighteen burglaries in the Northern District. I’m confident that these two arrests will have a significant impact on reducing the number of burglaries in our district and I’m equally pleased that these individuals are off our streets, in custody, and prevented from continuing their crime spree that significantly impacted our district.
Burglary, Other Building, Unlawful Entry, Possession of Stolen Property, Probation Violation Arrest, 3/11/14 6:15 Am 1970 Sutter St.
Officers responded to a call for service regarding a subject who had broken into a garage and was seen rummaging through property. The caller notified police of the subject’s location. Officers arrived and quickly had the subject detained. The caller said that she heard someone rummaging through her garage and saw the subject filling bags with her belongings. When the subject left, with handfuls of stuffed duffle bags, he ran right into officers, was detained and identified by the victim. A computer check of the subject revealed that he was currently on probation for an earlier burglary in the city. He was booked at Northern Station.
Robbery W/ Force, Battery, Suspicious Act Towards Female Arrest, 3/10/14 5:10 Pm 1600 Block of Post St.
Officers responded to the above area on a call of a robbery in progress. Numerous bystanders were now intervening and attempting to detain a male subject. As officers arrived, the subject was yelling, “This is my evidence”! He was holding up a cell phone in the air.
A witness told the officers that the phone belonged to the female victim and that the subject had stolen it from her. The officers detained the subject after a slight struggle. The officers spoke with the victim who told them the following. She was walking down the street and stopped to wait for the green walk signal. The subject approached her from behind and said, “I like your hair, where do you get it done”. She said “Thank you” and continued to walk. The subject followed her and got too close into her personal space. The victim began to feel very uncomfortable. The subject did this for three blocks. The victim said that the subject began to get agitated with him because she wouldn’t talk to him. He said, “All you have to do is die”. The victim said “leave me alone, I’m taking a picture of you”. She took out her phone and held it up and attempted to take a photograph of the subject. Before she could even unlock her phone the subject grabbed it from her hand and ran. The victim was able to grab a hold of the subject’s backpack, trying to prevent his flight. She yelled “Help me, he’s stealing my phone”. Several male bystanders ran over and tried to grab the subject. One of the witnesses that tried to help and was bitten on his right bicep and punched in the face by the subject. Officers arrived and were able to detain the subject, without further incident. All involved parties identified the subject. He was booked at Northern Station.
Burglary, Unlawful Entry, Probation Violation, Malicious Mischief, Vandalism to Property, Battery Arrest, 3/5/14 9:45 Pm Unit block of Waller
Officers were called to a burglary in progress in the above area. Dispatch advised the officers that a male who was wearing a baseball cap, black t shirt, and gray pants. The subject had made entry to a garage, turned the power off, and was attempting to gain entry to the adjacent building. The burglar was spooked and attempted to flee towards Market Street. Witnesses said that they believed that the subject was talking to another person inside the garage. Officers had a dog unit respond and sweep the building; with negative results. The building manager came to the building and actually saw the subject pulling wires out of a security alarm box. The female manger approached the subject and asked what he was doing. The subject said its ok, “I work for the contractor on this building”. The manager did not recognize the name that he gave. She called 911. The subject fled after the officers showed up. The manager said that she would be able to identify him if seen again. The caller told officer the same story as the building manager, adding that the subject was trying to pull up the rolling garage door to get in. He managed to pull it up about 1 foot, or more. A cold show was performed and the witnesses told police they had the correct person stopped. The subject was booked at Northern Station.
Theft from Building Arrest, 3/4/14 7:15 Pm 2000 Block of Chestnut St.
Officers responded to the 2200 block of Lombard St, regarding a theft where the victim was following the subject. The subject had stolen a number of rings from a store on Chestnut Street. The subject was attempting to flee the area, as well as attempting to sell the rings along the way. The store owner was following the subject and updating police on his location. The subject made numerous attempts to duck the victim. The subject entered several hotels in an attempt to flee, and sell items. Officers spotted the subject and detained him, without incident. The victim said that he never lost sight of the subject and that the stolen jewelry was in the subject’s duffle bag. A check of the bag revealed stolen jewelry valued at more than $1000. The officers even discovered a few rings that the subject tried to hide by throwing them down a storm drain. The property was recovered and returned to its owner. The subject was booked at Northern Station.
Possession of Prohibited Weapon, Methamphetamine Offense Arrest, 3/3/14 12:24 Pm Larkin/Cedar
Officers responded to a call for service where a subject was holding a sword and “going crazy”, screaming that he is a U.S. Marshall. The subject walked by a fire engine and the firemen told the officers which direction he was walking. The officers located the male. The officers announced themselves and the subject turned to face them. He saw the less than lethal bean bag gun pointing at him and put the sword on the ground. Officers detained the male. A search of the male revealed a baggy of “Meth” in his pocket. The subject was booked at Northern Station.
Robbery, Street or Public Place, Possession of Stolen Property, Conspiracy Arrest, 3/2/14 6:55 Pm Steiner/Hayes
Plain clothes officers were working in the above area and driving in an unmarked vehicle. Dispatch reported that there had been strong arm robbery by a male subject, and the loss was an expensive camera. The caller gave a good description of the subject. The caller watched the subject as he got into his getaway vehicle. The caller told dispatch the direction that the subject fled in his car. The officers know from experience that thieves head to the area of 7th and Market streets in an attempt to sell the stolen goods. As the officers drove to the area in question, they saw a vehicle that matched the suspect vehicles description. The license plate matched six out of the seven digits of the plate given by the “witness”. The officers were able to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle without incident. The officers detained the males and looked into the vehicle. They observed a camera on the floorboard of the car. The officers also saw a paint ball gun partially concealed beneath a jacket in the back seat of the car. Officers brought the victim to the area. They recognized the subject, vehicle and their stolen camera. Both the subject and driver of the vehicle were booked into custody at Northern Station.
Aggravated Assault, W/ Knife Arrest, 2/28/14 9:52 Pm Unit Block of Sanchez St.
Officers were dispatched to the above area regarding a battery. Upon their arrival, they found a male victim who had been cut with a knife by an acquaintance of his. The victim told police that an old friend of his had stopped by the apartment. The two were talking the subject became more and more aggressive and belligerent for some unknown reason. The victim left his apartment because the subject refused to leave. When the victim returned home the subject returned and started to argue with him again. The subject shoved his way into the apartment and started trying to kiss the victim. The victim was not interested and asked the subject to leave. The victim told the subject to leave or he would call the police. The subject became enraged and threatened to beat the victim when he sees him on the street. The subject grabbed the victim’s laptop and tried to leave with it. The victim grabbed the laptop and wrestled it back from the subject. The victim was immediately punched in the side of the head. The subject then somehow grabbed a knife and slashed the victim’s arms and left ear. The subject ran out the door. Officers called SFFD paramedics who arrived, treated and released the subject at the scene. The victim was being somewhat evasive when asked to give more details about the incident. Officers took photos of the victim and scene. As the officers were processing the scene, they heard someone yelling outside. It turns out to be the subject. They arrested him and the victim was positive they had the correct person. The subject was booked at Northern Station.
Warrant Arrest, E/R to Outside District, 2/28/14 1:06 Pm 1600 Block of Sacramento
Officers were called to the above area regarding two males inside an apartment building that did not belong there. Officers had the subjects detained out front of the building. The building owner told police that lately they have been having issues with homeless people wandering around the inside of the building. The owner has not seen the two inside his building before, but he wanted them advised never to come back. Officers ran a computer check on both individuals. One subject had a $150,000 burglary warrant for his arrest. He was booked at Northern Station.
Aggravated Assault W/ Force Arrest, 2/26/14 9:20 Am Oak/Octavia
Officers responded to a call of a battery. Upon their arrival, they met with the female victim. They got her some medical assistance by summoning SFFD medics. Officers saw the woman was crying and visibly upset. They saw redness to the right side of her face. She was semi incoherent and said that she wasn’t able to think clearly and didn’t know what happened to her. Officers met with a witness who told them the following. He said that the victim was walking down the street holding her purse and had headphones in her ears. The subject punched or hit the victim with an object in the side of the head/face from behind. She dropped to the ground and the subject stood over her. He did not try to steal anything from the victim. She got up and ran across six lanes of moving traffic. The witness gave officers a description of the male and the direction that he walked away. Officers quickly found the subject and the witness was positive they had the correct subject. He was booked at Northern Station.