Youth gang charged in crime spree 

It’s game over for a roving pack of young street thugs who made armed robberies in Hayes Valley their summertime sport, police
said.

Police said they’ve hauled in three more teenage criminals during the past two weeks on charges of preying on pedestrians in the neighborhood. The “key” arrests “should have a huge impact on that crime in that area.”

In all, police arrested seven members of an “up-and-coming” gang, said Lt. Tim Plyer, head of investigations for the Northern Police Station. The age range for most suspects is 13 to 18, he said.

The gang was responsible for at least seven street robberies in the Hayes Valley area during the past month, Plyer said.

This pack of juvenile offenders has been very busy this summer, police said.

In a recent robbery, a 29-year-old woman listening to music was slammed against a wall and threatened with a gun because she did not easily give up her purse, police said.

One plan to crack down on the crime is to add plainclothes officers to lure unassuming robbers, police said last week. Also, police are mulling a public outreach campaign to remind walkers that flashing a BlackBerry or iPod while roaming the streets late at night can attract crime.

Meanwhile, cops are making more arrests.

Early Sunday, a 26-year-old man was cuffed in Bernal Heights for allegedly robbing a pedestrian. Police are investigating whether the man is responsible for earlier robberies at 30th and Church streets and Seventh Avenue and Anza Street.

“So many victims walking down the street, so many opportunists,” Assistant police Chief Jeff Godown said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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