Big spike in burglaries recorded in SF’s popular northeast neighborhoods

A part of San Francisco popular with tourists and locals alike has seen a spike in burglaries since the beginning of the year.

Over the first four months of 2014 — the most up-to-date data available — the police district that stretches from Market Street north to Fisherman's Warf and encompasses North Beach and Chinatown has experienced a 67 percent increase in burglaries. The City as a whole has had only a 7 percent increase.

There were 299 burglaries in the Central Police District in the first four months of this year compared to 179 in the same time period in 2013. By comparison, the police district with the next-highest increase was the Mission, which saw a 42 percent spike (141 to 200).

The spike in burglaries coupled with other property crimes like car thefts and auto burglaries has been noticeable enough to raise concerns among community groups, police and the area's supervisor.

“In this area, I think it's one of the bigger concerns along with car break-ins,” said Mike Madrid, who lives on the 400 block of Vallejo Street and is a board member of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers Association.

New district Capt. David Lazar has met with neighborhood-watch groups and stepped up patrols while warning people to take precautions, Madrid said.

Supervisor David Chiu also has been fielding questions from constituents about burglaries.

“I have certainly heard from neighbors about an uptick in these crimes,” said Chiu, who noted that neighborhood concerns also include car burglaries and car thefts.

Whether the spike in burglaries is concentrated in one area of the district is unknown, but at least some say the crimes seem to be more than just crimes of opportunity.

John Golinger, a former Telegraph Hill Dwellers president, said the spate of burglaries seems to be a bit more aggressive, almost as if people are casing buildings.

“I can say there's been a spike in prowler activity in and around Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill over the last six months to a year,” Golinger said.

Much of the uptick in burglaries took place during Capt. Garret Tom's tenure in the Central district.

He had no comment on the trend Monday.

Lazar also would not comment on the burglaries.

Tracking burglaries

The following is a breakdown of the 10 police districts in San Francisco.

Bayview: Down 9 percent

– 2014: 125

– 2013: 137

Mission: Up 42 percent

– 2014: 200

– 2013: 141

Northern: Up 8 percent

– 2014: 300

– 2013: 278

Southern: Up 7 percent

– 2014: 281

– 2013: 262

Tenderloin: Up 3 percent

– 2014: 69

– 2013: 67

Central: Up 67 percent

– 2014: 299

– 2013: 179

Taraval: Down 20 percent

– 2014: 175

– 2013: 220

Ingleside: Down 24 percent

– 2014: 133

– 2013: 176

Richmond: Down 15 percent

– 2014: 143

– 2013: 169

Park: Up 18 percent

– 2013: 154

– 2014: 182

Source: Police Department

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