Castro Crime: Arsonist In Jail Again, George's Market Mural Destroyed, Motorcyclist Injured, More

Our last roundup was heavy on local crimes, but in the past couple of weeks, crime reports in and around the Castro have returned to a more usual frequency.

This time around, the neighborhood saw robberies, damage to a pricey new glass mural, and a new chapter in the tale of the alleged Castro arsonist. All reports are in chronological order and come via the SFPD, unless otherwise noted.

18th Street Robbery Leads To Arrest

On November 22nd at 12:33am, a 61-year-old man was near 18th and Noe when a younger man, 31, approached him with two other people. The younger man asked the older man if he wanted to buy some property, and the older man refused and walked away. The younger man then punched the victim and took some pieces of paper from him before fleeing on foot. A witness followed the suspect and informed police of his location, leading to his arrest. The paper was returned to the victim, who was injured but refused medical assistance.

Ongoing Mail Theft Woes

Mail thieves caught on camera. | Video: Stephen R./Nextdoor

Last week, we covered a rash of mail thefts in Corona Heights. Our tipsters and Nextdoor users have noted multiple incidents of theft, with some switching to a PO box for better security.

While the SFPD does work with the Postal Service to investigate these thefts, US Postal Inspectors have jurisdiction. Nextdoor users have also expressed fears that thefts will increase as more packages arrive during the holidays.

Parked Car Has All Four Tires Stolen, Is Damaged By Fireworks

Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

On November 27th, we reported on an incident along 18th Street near Dolores, in which a Toyota was found on blocks with all four tires stolen. The owner said that the car had been parked overnight across from the Dolores Park tennis courts.

The police report also mentions that a wing window was broken and that the back seat was smoldering, due to fireworks being thrown into the vehicle. A witness saw three male suspects in their 20s leaving in a black SUV, but no arrests have been made.

Duboce Triangle Store Window Mural Shattered

On November 28th, a new hand-painted window mural at George's Market (702 14th St.) was damaged in an altercation between a man and a woman around 6pm. The pair were arguing at a nearby bus stop when the woman threw a bottle at the man, which missed him and struck the window mural. 

Photo: Alisa Scerrato/Hoodline

The mural cost $3,000 to commission, and replacing the damaged window will cost the store owner an additional $2,000. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help raise money to replace the damaged mural.

Alleged Serial Castro Arsonist Once Again In Custody For Assault Suspicion

Hoodline has been covering alleged serial Castro arsonist David Diaz for some time, and he was once again placed in police custody after a November 29th incident in SoMa.

Diaz allegedly approached a woman parked in her car around 4:55am, told her to get out, and physically fought with her, sending both to the hospital. He was booked on suspicion of assault with force likely to commit great bodily injury, false imprisonment, mayhem, battery with serious bodily injury, and unlawful use of a badge, suggesting that he may have pretended to be a law-enforcement officer. 

Diaz, who was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter back in 2011, is being held without bail and is due in court on December 8th at 9am.

Castro Hot Prowl

Slightly later on November 29th, at 6:30am, a 28-year-old man awoke in his apartment near Castro and 19th to the sound of an unknown suspect jumping out of a window. The prowler had stolen the victim's phone and money. No arrest has been made.

Assault With Bottle

On December 2nd at 1:29am, two men, 28 and 36, got into a verbal altercation near Castro and 17th. The younger man then hit the older man in the back of the head with a bottle. The victim was transported to the hospital with injuries to his face. No arrest was made.

Motorcyclist In Hospital After Market & Noe Accident

Later on December 2nd, we reported on a 5pm traffic collision at the intersections of Noe, Market, and 16th, a place where such incidents are quite common.

The driver of a grey Volkswagen was traveling westbound on Market Street and turning left onto Noe when an unidentified motorcyclist riding east on Market Street struck the vehicle. The motorcyclist was transported to the hospital with undetermined injuries.

Did we miss any recent crimes around the neighborhood? If you've got info on a crime or neighborhood safety issue to share, send us a tip here or add a comment below. Or text Hoodline if you see an incident, and we’ll see what we can find out: (415) 200-3233.

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