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Police Blotter – April 25, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of April 25, 2014. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

Congratulations are in order for veteran Richmond Station Officer Rosemary Castro who will be retiring next week after 32 years of service to the SFPD. Her last day on duty will be Monday the 28th. Rose started the police academy in 1982. After graduating from the academy, she completed her field training in the Mission District and was then assigned to Ingleside Station. She also spent time working at the Communications Division, Southern Station, and once more at Mission Station before coming to the Richmond District in 2001. For the last 13 years, she has served the community as a patrol officer, answering calls, making arrests and keeping the residents of the district safe. We will miss her wisdom and experience and we wish her a happy, healthy and long retirement.

Our next Community meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 6pm. It will be in the Community Room, here at Richmond Station, 461 6th Ave.
On 04/17/14 at 7:55am, an auto burglary occurred in the area of Stow Lake. A witness called and provided a description of the suspects and the vehicle they were in including the license plate. Officers were aware of this vehicle as it had been used in an auto burglary in Stern Grove earlier in the week and prior to that incident, the occupants had been identified in a traffic stop at 7th and Judah. On 04/18/14 at 1:40pm, the vehicle and suspects were located on the 1800 block of Silver and detained. In the vehicle was property belonging to several victims. The suspects, a 32yr old male and a 25yr old female were charged with the auto burglaries, possession of stolen property and conspiracy.

On 04/18/14 at 5:15am officers were called to the 200 block of Funston regarding an auto burglary in progress. The caller described the suspect and advised that he was on a bike. The officers arrived and the suspect attempted to flee on the bike but was detained. The caller told the officers that they observed the suspect looking in the window of the vehicle and “jimmy” it open and enter the vehicle. The officers recovered 2 CD/stereo faceplates as well as numerous burglar tools. The 51yr old male was charged with auto burglary, possession of burglar tools and stolen property.

On 04/19/14 at 6:45am, officers responded to the 600 block of 36th Ave on a report of a robbery that had just occurred with the suspects firing a handgun. The victim reported that the suspects fled in a gold four door sedan. As officers were responding to the area they spotted a gold 4door sedan at 31st Ave and Cabrillo St. When the officer got behind the suspect’s vehicle it fled from the officer. The suspects intentionally hit another officer’s vehicle on 43rd at Cabrillo and continued to flee into Golden Gate Park. The suspect went west on Lincoln from 19th Ave and again stuck the officers vehicle, this time causing the suspect’s vehicle to lose control and both occupants were taken into custody. It was later determined that these suspects were not the suspects from the robbery, but fled as they were in a stolen vehicle, on probation and suspects in a burglary from the Taraval District. The driver of the stolen vehicle was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, stolen auto, possession of stolen property and probation violation. The passenger was charged with being in possession of ammunition and probation violations.

On 04/25/14 at 6:55am, a resident of a home on the 500 block of 14th Ave awoke to a stranger sleeping on his living room couch. The resident quickly checked the doors into the building and saw that the tradesman door and iron gate were damaged and forced open. Officers were called and detained the male in the living room. The male told the officers that the front door was unlocked and acknowledged that he did not live there. The suspect, a 30yr old male was charged with burglary, vandalism and trespassing.

On 04/17/14 between 12am and 7:30pm on the 1500 block of Broderick, a suspect entered an apartment by breaking a window. The suspect took jewelry and a TV.

On 04/18/14 at 3:54pm, on the 200 block of 30th Ave, a suspect took packages that had been delivered and left on the front stoop. Surveillance video shows the suspect as a white male, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. He was also wearing mirrored sunglasses. The loss was clothing.

Between 04/18/14, 11:15pm and 04/19/14, 6:30am on the 4400 block of Balboa, a suspect entered a multi-unit garage and took a bike. There were no signs of forced entry.

Between 04/19/14, 2pm and 04/20/24, 9:30am on the 400 block of 33rd Ave, a suspect entered a multi-unit garage by unknown means. One of the tenants had left their car window open and the suspect took an iPad from the vehicle.

Between 04/19/14, 7:30pm and 04/20/14, 8:15am on the 100 block of Jordan, a suspect entered a garage by prying off one of the panels in the door. The suspect took the vehicle that was parked inside.

On 04/19/14 at 9pm, on the 1000 block of the Great Highway the victim was walking back to his vehicle when he heard a loud thump coming from the area of his car. As he ran to his car he saw the suspect standing by the front passenger door and saw that the window was now smashed. As the suspect started to walk away, the victim grabbed his arm and during a brief struggle, they both fell to the ground. The suspect struck the victim in the side of his face, possibly with a handle of a screwdriver. The suspect then fled south then into the area of the soccer fields. The suspect was described as a black male, 45-50yrs, wearing a dark hat, light blue long sleeved shirt with a black vest on top and dark jeans.

On 04/19/14 at 9pm, the victim was walking north on 16th Ave towards Clement St. The victim was carrying her purse with the strap across her body. The suspect approached from behind and began to pull on the purse. The victim tried to keep a grip on it, but the suspect pulled harder and caused the victim to lose her grip and fall to the ground. The suspect fled north on 16th Ave. The suspect was a white female with dark hair past her shoulders, wearing a gray baggy sweatshirt. The victim sustained injuries but refused medical treatment.

On 04/20/14 between 4pm and 6pm, a suspect entered an office area in the garage and took a Bluetooth earpiece and a business check. The suspect also cut the wires to the mouse, keyboard and speakers to the computer. The residents were upstairs at the time and thought they heard a door slam earlier; there were no signs of forced entry.

On 04/23/14, between 3pm and 5pm a suspect entered an apartment by unknown means. The suspect took jewelry, an iPad and a Kindle.

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 12:45 pm | Posted under Crime | 13 comments

Saturdays are for Blue Herons in GGP & Science programs at Mt. Lake

A couple of nature programs came into our inbox recently…

We’re currently in the midst of the Great Blue Heron Watch at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. Great Blue Herons have been nesting at Stow Lake since 1993, and it’s a great opportunity to come out and watch them with their chicks.

San Francisco Nature Education is in their 22nd year of leading Heron Watch walks every Saturday through May 17th. Naturalists and interns are also stationed at an observation site with spotting scopes, ready to offer spectacular views into the Great Blue Heron nests and answer questions.

Every Saturday, the free observation site is open from 10am until 1pm. Walks run from 10:30am until 12noon and allow you to observe chicks and other nesting birds from various spots around the Lake and Strawberry Island with a naturalist. The ticket price for the walk is $10, children are free. Meet at the observation site for the tour.

On the second Saturday of every month from May 10 until October 11, 2014, the Presidio Trust is sponsoring Science Saturdays, where scientists talk about topics relating to Mountain Lake and its ecological restoration. Hear researchers from a variety of disciplines talk on topics ranging from Archaeology to Zooplankton.

The free programs run from 2pm until 3pm and meet at the lake’s edge just below the playground (entrance at 12th Avenue and Lake Street). The schedule of talks is as follows:

May 10: Reintroducing Submerged Aquatic Vegetation to Mountain Lake and the greater Bay Area
Kathy Boyer, Associate Professor of Biology, San Francisco State University

June 14: Native Fish: Restoring the Three-spined Stickleback to Mountain Lake
Darren Fong, Aquatic Ecologist, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

July 12: The History and Archaeology of Mountain Lake
Kari Jones, Archaeologist, Presidio Trust

August 9: Reintroducing the Western Pond Turtle to Mountain Lake
Nick Geist, Professor of Biology, Sonoma State University

September 13: Soils of Mountain Lake
Stephen Andrews, Soil Scientist and Lecturer, UC Berkeley

October 11: Butterflies of Mountain Lake and beyond
Liam O’Brien, Lepidopterist

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 5:05 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Parks, Wildlife | Comments Off

Stolen copper pipe blocks traffic on Fulton Wednesday morning

Crews clean up spilled copper pipe at Fulton and 30th Avenue on Wednesday morning. Photo by Jill B.

Around 5:25am on Wednesday morning, a contractor’s truck was stolen in the outer Richmond, with the thieves eying the copper pipe that was on board.

As they made their getaway, some of the pipe rolled off the truck and into the roadway near Fulton and 30th Avenue.

In the melee, the truck drove into the nearby meadow and crashed into a picnic table. So much for a quiet getaway.

Reader Jill B. says that around 6am, a morning dog walker “noticed a line of thick cable running along the right lane for a length of Fulton, turning and blocking 30th into the park.”

The city was summoned, and crews spent two hours cleaning up the spilled pipe. The pipe stretched nearly half a block and was so heavy, that the cleanup crew had to cut it into smaller sections to load it and move it.

Thanks to Jill B. and Elizabeth S. for the reports.

Sarah B.

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 10:09 am | Posted under Crime, Golden Gate Park | 2 comments

Spotted: Coyote crossing at 37th Avenue & Geary

Photo by Jennifer Anwaya

Reader Jennifer A. spotted a coyote on Monday night, but not in Golden Gate Park, the Presidio or Lincoln Park where they’re usually seen.

This one was crossing the street at Geary and 37th Avenue. Maybe he was on his way to the Balboa Theater to see Captain America?

Sarah B.

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 9:11 am | Posted under Photos, Wildlife | 10 comments

Photo: Out for a swim with the folks

Stow Lake, April 21, 2014. Photo by Tina Verdoia

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 10:43 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, Photos, Wildlife | 2 comments

New parklet opens outside Simple Pleasures on outer Balboa

The Richmond District’s second parklet opened on Saturday in front of Simple Pleasures Cafe at 3434 Balboa near 35th Avenue. The budget for the parklet was $26,000, one of the most expensive in the city to date.

Unlike most city parklets, this one is spacious. Because the parking on that block of Balboa is slanted, the parklet is much deeper than a typical one. It took over 3 parking spaces in total.

Designed by San Francisco’s Step 3 Studio, the parklet is well constructed with heavy, stained wood benches and planters, and tile flooring.

The parklet was paid for by Simple Pleasures Cafe but the space is considered public, and open to anyone to use at anytime. Parklets are part of the San Francisco Planning Department’s Pavement to Parks initiative, designed to “temporarily reclaim unused swathes of land and quickly and inexpensively turn them into new public spaces”.

Next up is a parklet outside Cinderella Bakery on Balboa near 6th Avenue. No word yet on when though.

Sarah B.

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 5:02 am | Posted under Business, Parks | 24 comments

Photos: Earthscape artist Andres Amador at work on Ocean Beach

Artist Andres Amador was at Ocean Beach on Saturday morning, working on a new piece while dozens watched from the cliffs above. We hear he was being filmed for a documentary.

Sarah B.

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 6:03 pm | Posted under Art, Ocean Beach | 5 comments

Looking back at the 1906 earthquake in the Richmond District

A crumbling house at 11th Avenue and California in 1906. Courtesy Bancroft Library

It was 108 years ago today at 5:12am when a massive earthquake struck San Francisco, killing an estimated 3,000 people and destroying nearly 80% of the city. Between 227,000 and 300,000 people were left homeless out of a population of about 410,000. [Wikipedia]

Here in the Richmond District, there was only a small population. People had just started moving to the “Outside Lands” in the 1880s, and much of the neighborhood was still covered in sand dunes.

The unpopulated landscape of the Richmond District proved to be ideal for refugee camps. Camp 25, dotted with hundreds of what would become known as “earthquake shacks”, spanned what is now Park Presidio Boulevard.

Golden Gate Park was the setting for many refugee camps where displaced residents lived in canvas tents. Many of the camps were still in existence long after the quake, with the final one closing in June 1908.

Every year on April 18th, San Francisco commemorates the 1906 earthquake with a ceremony at Lotta’s Fountain, located at the intersection of Market Street, where Geary and Kearny Streets connect. The cast iron fountain served as a meeting point during the earthquake and fire aftermath.

Another commemoration will take place at 20th and Church Streets at 5:40am when a hydrant, that was crucial to fighting the fires in 1906, is re-painted gold.

City celebrations are usually attended by remaining survivors from the 1906 quake, but there are only two left.

One of them, Bill de Monte, celebrated his 108th birthday in January. He won’t be at the ceremony this morning, but he did tape a video message that will be shown.

Sarah B.

Most of the photos in this post are from the Bancroft Library’s stellar online collection of photos of San Francisco post-earthquake. The site includes an interactive map that lets you explore the archives by neighborhood.

Camp 25 located along what is now Park Presidio Boulevard. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

Kids in Camp 25, one year after the earthquake. 2,400 shacks still remained. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

A crumbling depot building at Geary and Arguello. Today it is OfficeMax. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

The north tower gate of Sutro Heights Park. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

The Martha Kip orphanage at 520 Lake near 7th Avenue. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

One of the refugee encampments in Golden Gate Park. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

Refugees line up for food or supplies in a Golden Gate Park camp. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

The Sweeny Observatory atop Strawberry Hill lay in ruins after the quake. Courtesy Bancroft Library.

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 5:12 am | Posted under Golden Gate Park, History | 8 comments