A serial bicycle thief is being sought in the Inner Sunset district following a series of burglaries and an armed robbery in the neighborhood this month.
San Francisco police are stepping up patrols in the area to find the crook, who was seen by witnesses in three of five incidents involving thefts from garages and a storage unit.
Police are warning residents that the armed suspect could be living in one of the neighborhood buildings — possibly in a storage room, garage or an out-building.
The first known burglary occurred sometime between Aug. 1 and Aug. 3, when a garage door was forced open and a bicycle stolen in the 1300 block of Sixth Avenue.
On Aug. 5, a resident in the 1200 block of Second Avenue heard his garage door open just before 5 a.m. and found a man ransacking a car in the garage, police said. The suspect threatened the resident with a knife, stole a bicycle and fled.
The thief was a black man in his late 40s to early 50s, standing 5 feet 8 inches, weighing 155 pounds and wearing dark clothing, police said.
Another garage door was pried open and a bicycle swiped in the 200 block of Irving Street on Aug. 7. Three days later, residents heard glass breaking near their front door, found a window broken and two bicycles missing. A witness reported seeing two black men — one in his late teens and the other in his 20s or 30s — riding away on bikes.
Then just this past Saturday, the suspect fitting the description in the Aug. 5 robbery was seen standing at the door to a building’s storage area in the 1200 block of Second Avenue. Residents of the building found that their bicycle was missing from the storage room, and that another bicycle had been left in its place, police said.