Castro Crime & Safety: Auto Break-Ins, Coyote Sightings, SF Pride Security, More

Castro Crime & Safety: Auto Break-Ins, Coyote Sightings, SF Pride Security, More
Last Sunday's Orlando shooting vigil. (Photo: Randall Sarafa/Hoodline)
By Brian Ray - Published on June 20, 2016.

Since our last crime and safety roundup, there have been ongoing reports of vehicle break-ins, a string of coyote sightings, tree vandalism, and updates from the SFPD about security during SF Pride, in the wake of the events in Orlando. (All reports below come via the SFPD, unless otherwise noted.)

Ongoing Auto Break-Ins

We received a tip from Lucas R. about his continuing problems with auto break-ins:

I'm a resident and business owner in the Castro, and I'm just reporting that our car has been broken into for the fourth time in two months. It's been happening at our residence on 15th and Beaver. I leave the house every morning and see other neighbors' car windows smashed on my way to work, just three blocks away ... I'm just giving Hoodline this tip so my voice is heard somewhere. We have no other answers for this, because police and supervisors seem to be no help. At least our neighbors hopefully might be warned of this.

Other neighbors have also been reporting auto break-ins via Nextdoor, with at least five incidents reported by locals over the month of May.

18th & Castro Phone Robbery

On June 1st at 2:30am, a man, 21, was walking near Castro and 18th when two men pinned him against a wall and took his phone from his pocket. The suspects then fled towards Market and Castro. No arrests were made.

Coyote Sightings On Kite Hill

Hoodline posted a June 1st story about a series of coyote sightings on Kite Hill, reported by neighbors on Nextdoor. As mentioned in the story and elsewhere, be sure to keep a safe distance, making sure pets are either on leashes or indoors between dusk and dawn. Securing garbage bins is strongly recommended.

Upper Market Hot Prowl

On June 2nd at 1pm, a man, 54, arrived home and left his garage door open. His neighbor later informed him that an unknown suspect had entered the open garage, stolen a bicycle, and fled. No arrest was made.

Dorland Garage Burglary

Nextdoor user Marilyn U. posted about a June 4th burglary near Dorland and Church. The suspect(s) broke into a garage between 8-9am, stealing clothes intended for donation and other items. Marilyn recalls hearing the garage door open more than once, indicating that they may have come and gone before finally leaving the door open and fleeing on a skateboard. She is asking neighbors for any security footage or witness accounts.

Tree Vandalism

Nextdoor user Karl P. has documented the slow destruction of a tree in front of his residence near 18th and Noe, ever since it was planted in the summer of 2014. Late-night video in December 2014 showed a vandal ripping off the upper portion of the tree. Another video in March 2015 showed more damage being done to the tree, and finally, a March 2016 video captured someone posing with and on the remaining tree for their friends or for photos. The final blow came this past Friday at 2:15pm, when video captured a man walking by, noticing the tree, and kicking the entire thing over.

Photo: Brian Ray/Hoodline

This isn't the only recent case of neighbors reporting tree vandalism. Nextdoor user Gilad D. posted a June 12th photo of a damaged magnolia tree near Dolores and 15th.

Dolores & Market Robbery

On June 11th at 12:10am, a 31-year-old man was walking near Market and Dolores when he was jumped by three unknown suspects. They took his wallet and fled, leaving him with a swollen lip. No arrests were made.

Early Morning Castro Street Robbery

Also on the 11th, at 1am, a man, 33, was drinking in the Castro when he lost consciousness. When he awoke on Castro Street, his cell phone, wallet, and ID were missing. Although he could not remember what happened, he believes that he was hit in the head and robbed. No arrest was made, and he was transported to the hospital for a head injury.

Church Street Suspect Lifts, Throws Man In Assault

On the evening of the 11th at 8:01pm, a 45-year-old man was walking down the street near Church and 19th when a younger man, 20, approached him, picked him up, and threw him onto the ground on his face. The suspect fled the scene, and the victim was transported to the hospital with injuries to his eye socket area, his wrist, and hand. No arrest was made.

Castro Farmers' Market Manager Hit By Car

As the Castro Farmers' Market prepared to start its regular Wednesday appearance June 15th, the manager of the market was struck by a vehicle near the busy intersection of Market, Noe, and 16th streets. The man is currently recovering in the hospital, while the intersection continues to be one of the main areas of focus for the Upper Market Street Safety Project.

Castro Neighbors Share Thoughts And Concerns At Fix-It Workshop

On June 16th, the new Fix-It Team commissioned by Mayor Ed Lee held a workshop for neighbors to discuss quality of life concerns in the Castro. Around 40 people attended, discussing issues with trash, street lighting, intersection safety, and homelessness. 

SFPD Reacts To Orlando Shooting, Discusses Pride Safety Plans

On June 12th, as many in the LGBTQ community and beyond expressed frustration, sadness, and support for the victims in Orlando, the SFPD issued a statement on its plans to promote safety during the upcoming SF Pride events:

Ou[r] thoughts and prayers are with the people of Orlando, and with the families and friends of those who have been injured and killed. While there are no known threats to San Francisco, the San Francisco Police Department will be increasing police presence in places of high public concentration, including shopping, transit, and entertainment areas, the City's Castro District and LGBT venues, as well as our mosques, to ensure safety for everyone.

The San Francisco Police Department has been meeting with SF Pride organizers for months to discuss safety and security for Pride Weekend. There are additional meetings scheduled in the weeks leading up to the event. The Department is working with our State and Federal law enforcement partners, and our number one priority for Pride is planning for safety and security at the event.

As always, we remind the public, 'If you see something, say something!'

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.