Random header image... Refresh for more!

Police Blotter – February 28, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of February 28, 2014. To be added to the station’s mailing list, email sfpd.richmond.station@sfgov.org.]

In San Francisco, a bike is stolen every three hours and there has been a 70% increase in bicycle theft since 2006. The SFPD has a warehouse filled with hundreds of recovered bikes, most of which were probably stolen, but we have no way of returning these bikes to their owners because many people don’t keep a record of their serial numbers and don’t register their bikes.

To combat this problem, San Francisco SAFE and the SFPD have just started a bike registration program. By going to the Safe Bikes website, you can register your bike, upload a copy of your purchase receipt and also upload photos of your bike. Then, if your bike is ever stolen, there is a much greater chance that it can be returned to you.

The Safe Bikes website has tips on how best to lock your bike including diagrams and videos. In general, you should lock the rear wheel with a U-lock that also goes through the rear triangle of the bike frame. The lock should be attached to a solid, immovable object. You should use a second lock (preferably another U-lock) to lock up the front wheel. You can also use a cable or chain to lock the saddle, however chain and cable locks are easier to cut than U-locks. You might also consider replacing the quick release skewers on the wheels and seat post with locking skewers.

In the Richmond District, a lot of bikes are stolen out of garages. It’s a good idea to lock your bike when it’s in the garage the same way that you would lock it when it’s out in public. To reduce your chances of theft from your garage, make sure that all of your garage doors are closed and locked and avoid putting valuable items by a window.

Safe Bikes is hosting an upcoming bike theft prevention workshop in March. You can register for this workshop on their website and if you are one of the first 45 people to bring in your old cable style bike lock, you can trade it for a brand new U-lock.

We have some more handouts on locking your bike and on bike safety, so ride by Richmond Station and pick one up.

Our next Community meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 6pm. It will be in the Community Room, here at Richmond Station, 461 6th Ave.

On 02/23/14 at 11pm, an officer was conducting traffic at the intersection of 25th and California due to a large power outage in the Richmond District. The officer’s vehicle had all of its lights on, including the over head light bar. The officer had also set out flares all around the intersection to help control traffic and avoid a potential collision. The officer observed a vehicle traveling south on 25th approaching California and it did not appear to be braking for the intersection, which became a 4 way stop when the light went out. The officer pointed his flashlight at the vehicle and yelled several times for the driver to stop. The driver passed the officer at approximately 20mph and looked directly at him. The vehicle then revved its engine and sped up, continuing south. The officer got into his vehicle and conducted a traffic stop at Geary and 25th Ave. When he approached the vehicle he could smell marijuana emanating from within. Both the driver and passenger admitted to having oxycodone in their possession however neither had a prescription. The passenger had numerous Xanax pills, again without a prescription. Officers detained both occupants for the violation. Along with ammunition, officers located heroin, an M-80 explosive and a large amount of marijuana. The two suspects, both 22yrs, were charged with narcotic violations.

On 02/24/14 at 11:55pm, officers responded to the area of the Atalaya Terrace, off of Fulton St on a report of two males casing vehicles and houses. A description was provided by the caller and the officer located the suspect at Fulton and Masonic. The officer, who recognized the male and knew he was on probation, detained him along with another subject that had joined him. The initial suspect was clear of all warrants and a probation search was conducted and he was clear of any contraband. The second male was also on probation and found to be in possession of a glass pipe and a spark plug. Spark plugs are commonly used by auto burglars to break the windows on cars. Both males have extensive history for burglary, auto burglary and narcotic violations. The second male, 20yrs old was charged with possession of narcotic paraphernalia, burglary tools and a probation violation.

On 02/27/14 at 12:45pm, officers received a call of suspicious male possibly dealing narcotics from a vehicle in the area of 16th and Balboa. Plainclothes officers responded and located the male in the vehicle. The suspect was intent on looking down onto something on his lap and did not see or hear the officers approach. When the officer got to the driver’s door he could see that the suspect was looking at a baggie of marijuana. When the officer announced himself to the driver was startled and tried to hide the bag. They had the male exit the vehicle and on the floorboard saw another large baggie of marijuana. They located a scale and cash in the vehicle. There was also another large baggie in a box of clothing. The 23yr old male was charged with possession of marijuana for sales.

Between 02/22/14, 6pm and 02/24/2014, 7am on the 2900 block of Jackson St, a suspect entered a home under construction. The suspect kicked a window and although the glass did not break the frame gave way allowing access. There was no loss as all items are removed at the end of the work day.

Between 02/25/14, 8pm and 02/26/14, 7:30am on the 800 block of 47th Ave, a suspect entered a garage and took a bike. Entry was made through an unlocked rear door.

On 02/26/14 at 8:20pm on the 500 block of 25th Ave, a porta-potty was set on fire. Melted plastic from the structure landed on a car that was parked nearby.

On 02/27/14 at 1pm, the victim left her home on the 400 block of 17th Ave and went for a walk in Golden Gate Park. She parked her car near the Conservatory of Flowers and when she returned to her car she saw that her center console was open and her garage remote was missing. She went home and saw that a laptop and computer were now missing from her home. It is believed that the suspect entered the home with the remote as there were no signs of forced entry.

Bookmark and Share
 9:46 pm | Posted under Crime | 1 comment

Watch the Oscars on the big screen at the Balboa Theater, Sunday

UPDATE 1:47pm 3/1/14: This event is sold out.

This Sunday, the Balboa Theater will host its annual Oscars party. Red Carpet coverage begins at 2:30pm, and the festivities continue on through the evening. The official ceremony starts at 4pm.

Once again, this year’s event will be emceed by Reed Kirk Rahlmann (Howard the Duck, Nash Bridges), who has this to say about the year’s lineup of movies:

Once again it is time for the Balboa Theater Oscar party! And once again I have the honor of hosting. I have opinions about the nominees (Gravity? Best Picture? Really?) and I’m sure you do too. And I want to hear them! I also want to hear about your Tenuous Oscar Connections. Do you work with someone who saw Judy Dench at Starbucks? Know someone who was Joaquin Phoenix’s orthodontist? Tell the story—there’s a prize in it for you. Do you have a favorite film that no one else has heard of? Share it with the audience. And costumes are always encouraged. So don’t sit home and watch. Come share the experience of the movies as they should be experienced—at a theater filled with Oscar fans. Hope to see you there.

This event does sell out so be sure to get your tickets online in advance – $10 for adults, $7.50 for kids and seniors.

Before Sunday, check out this year’s Oscar nominees and be sure to print out the 2014 Oscars ballot so you can play along.

And while you’re here, vote for who you think should win Best Picture:

Bookmark and Share
 5:58 pm | Posted under Events, Movies | Comments Off

Video: Three teens rescued after falling from cliffs near China Beach

Around 12noon today, three teenagers fell from an area of cliff near China Beach. One of the teens, a girl, was injured during the fall, which landed them in an area inaccessible by walking trails.

Both the SFFD and Coast Guard assisted in the rescue effort, providing a boat, jet skis and a helicopter to reach the teens and evacuate them.

“There is a third, more critical victim that will be taken off the beach by Coast Guard helicopter. We use c-spine precautions and evaluate their mental status. One of the patient’s mental status is altered,” SFFD Battalion Chief Bryan Rubenstein told CBS.

The three teens were taken to the Coast Guard station at Fort Baker for treatment.

Just yesterday, a woman had to be rescued from a bluff at Ocean Beach after a leg injury prevented her from leaving the area safely.

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 5:54 pm | Posted under Lands End, News | 2 comments

Uncovered: Old Vess Cola advertisement

Photo by Derek

Reader Derek stopped by the Internet Archive to drop off some old t-shirts this week and noticed that at the site of November’s fire, and old advertisement for Vess Cola has been uncovered.

Vess Cola, originally made by Vess Soda which was founded in 1916, is still in existence (manufactured by Cott). They make a variety of flavors including orange, cream, cherry cola, black cherry, pineapple, peach, piña colada, strawberry, grape, blue raspberry and kiwi-strawberry. Their slogan is “The Billion Bubble Beverage”.

The “Good?…it’s Perfect!” ad is on the side of the building adjacent to the Archive’s annex building near Clement and Funston, which has a restaurant, Taishan Cafe, on the ground floor and apartments above. The entire building has been closed off until repairs are made from the fire.

Sarah B.

Photo by Derek

Bookmark and Share
 5:01 am | Posted under Photos | 14 comments

Explore Lincoln Park’s cemetery past by night, April 1

Remains found under the Legion of Honor in 1997. Photo by Richard Barnes

As you may have read in the past here on the blog, the Richmond District was once home to several cemeteries, including one out where Lincoln Park is today.

The last cemeteries were cleared and decommissioned in the 1940s, but even as recently as 1997, remains were still being unearthed beneath the Legion of Honor.

On Tuesday, April 1, Obscura Society SF is hosting a special tour called Flashlight Exploration of Old Lincoln Park Cemetery.

Led by historian, author and former National Parks Ranger John Martini, the guided walk will visit a former Chinese funerary temple set in a grove of cypress trees, a towering iron monument to sailors who died far from home, and the site of a macabre mass grave discovered in the not-very-distant past.

The tour runs from 7-9pm and costs $20 per person. Tickets can be purchased online. Flashlights are required!

And if cemetery trivia and history are your thing, check out the recent history minute below from the Western Neighborhoods Project. You may be surprised to learn what happened to the headstones from our old cemeteries.

Sarah B.

P.S. – Despite the date of this event, it’s not a hoax! ;)

Bookmark and Share
 9:45 am | Posted under Events, History | 6 comments

Police testing possibly poisonous meatballs found near Ocean Beach

You may have already heard about the 21 poisonous meatballs that were found in the bushes and shrubs of the Twin Peaks neighborhood over the weekend.

The intent of the meatballs, which were laced with strychnine, was to harms animals and pets who ingested them. Hundreds of the meatballs first appeared in July 2013, and killed a small dachshund.

This afternoon, SFAppeal reported that the police are also testing suspicious meatballs found near 855 La Playa between Fulton and Cabrillo around 5:45pm on Sunday afternoon.

Police are warning pet owners to be especially alert when out walking their dogs, and recommending that cats not be allowed outdoors. They are treating the meatballs found near Twin Peaks and the ones found in the Richmond District as one case.

The last time this occurred in the Richmond District was in July 2011, when someone left rat poison out in Sutro Heights Park, killing a hawk and causing one woman’s dog to foam at the mouth after ingesting it.

San Francisco police are asking the public for assistance in the case. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the SFPD’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 3:57 pm | Posted under Crime, Pets | 5 comments

Family of woman hit on 10th Ave & California is “thankful she’s alive”

Photo by @jdonnellydc

On Thursday, February 6, an elderly woman named Carmen Silva was hit by a driver at the intersection of 10th Avenue and California Streets.

On Sunday night, Carmen’s son Emiliano Lee found the above photo that we posted on Facebook and left a comment with an update on his mother’s condition, and explained what happened that day:

“She had just gotten off the 1 California (we live on 11th) and was crossing the street, in the crosswalk, with the green light. A woman driving a prius turned and drove right into her. Happened so fast my mom didn’t see her until she was being hit… She hit the hood and windshield then was thrown into the street.”

“We are all thankful she’s alive as it could have been much worse,” Emiliano added.

Carmen herself jumped into the Facebook thread to talk about her accident:

“I’ve lived on 11th & Geary 24 years so am a vigilant pedestrian, have been nearly hit too many times. I always look 4 ways and keep looking as I cross. I do not ever use my cell phone when walking. I do not jay walk. And however clichéd, I did not see the car until it was about to hit me. My head, neck, ribs and a knee were damaged. Slow but steady recovery, and I do know it might have been so much worse. Thank you to the many helpful and comforting passers-by and EMTs and SF police.”

We’re glad to hear that Carmen is doing well and on her way to recovery. Thank you to the family for the updates!

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 11:15 am | Posted under Traffic | 19 comments

Photo: Beer-battered historic mural inside the Alexandria Theater

Recently, we marked the 10th anniversary of the closing of the Alexandria Theater, and its steady decline to its status as a blighted landmark.

We posted photos of the theater’s deteriorating exterior, but recently received evidence of decay on the interior as well.

A reader sent us this photo which was taken inside the theater. It shows the defacing of one of the historic art deco murals inside the Alexandria.

The mural is peppered with beer bottle caps along with paint and plaster streaks.

Since its closing in 2004, the theater has periodically been broken into and taken over by squatters and partiers.

It’s a shame to see that the owners are letting the historic aspects of the interior deteriorate as well.

Sarah B.

Bookmark and Share
 5:10 am | Posted under Art, History | 9 comments