Tenderloin crime: Serial arsonist caught, suspect arrested in homicide, man attacked in Muni shelter

It’s time for another roundup of notable crimes in the Tenderloin Police District over the past two weeks.

According to SFPD, 76 suspects were arrested in the district in the past seven days, 54 of whom were booked into county jail. All details of the Tenderloin station’s activities come from SFPD reports unless otherwise noted. 

Arsonist arrested after setting two fires

An arsonist was arrested after setting a fire on November 20th around 10:51 p.m. on the 1000 block of Polk Street (near Geary). 58-year-old San Francisco resident Atxay Phongvichith is also accused of setting fire to a commercial building near the intersection of Geary and Hyde streets on November 18th at 12:26 a.m.

Phongvichith has been booked on two felony arson charges, and one misdemeanor for failure to register as an arson offender. 

Man robbed in three-on-one attack

Around 5:15 p.m. on November 20th, a 31-year-old man on the unit block of Leavenworth (at McAllister) was followed by two men said to be in their thirties and one man said to be in his twenties.

The suspects punched the victim and stole his bag, watches, tablet, and cellphone before fleeing on foot. No arrests have been made.

Man punched, robbed in early morning attack

Two men, 36 and 30, chased and attacked a 60-year-old man on Ellis Street (at Jones) around 2 a.m. on November 18th. The suspects jumped on the victim and kicked and punched him before stealing his cellphone.

The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, and the suspects have not been identified. 

SFFD extinguishes unknown suspect's fire 

Around 10:41 p.m. on November 18th, a witness saw an unknown male set trash and paper on fire near the intersection of O’Farrell and Larkin streets. The SF Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire, but the suspect, who fled the scene in an unknown direction, has not been identified.

Man attacked in Muni bus shelter

A 59-year-old man was sitting in a Muni bus shelter near the intersection of Market and Jones streets around 10:00 a.m. on November 18th when a man, said to be in his early thirties, approached and assaulted him. The suspect fled in an unknown direction, while the victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. No items were stolen in the incident.

Arrest made in Market Street homicide

As we previously reported, 52-year-old San Francisco resident Bart Kylstra was found dead on the 1000 block of Market Street (near Taylor) around 11:30 p.m. on November 14th. Kylstra was the CEO of Rio Mobility, a wheelchair accessories company headquartered at the intersection.

A suspect, 28-year-old Kuk Kim, has been arrested in connection with Kylstra's murder. According to police, Kim allegedly tased and beat Kylstra to death after Kylstra accused Kim of embezzling items from the company. 

Attackers flee into BART station after robbery

Around 11:26 p.m. on November 13th, a man of undisclosed age approached a 20-year-old man on the 900 block of Market (near Eddy) and punched him.

Another man then threw the victim to the ground and assaulted him, while the first suspect stood the man’s phone, wallet, and ID card. The two suspects then fled into the nearby Powell BART station, and remain at large. 

Man loses cellphone in robbery at gunpoint

A man said to be in his twenties snatched a 48-year-old man’s cellphone from his hands around 6:20 p.m. on November 12th, near the intersection of Taylor and O’Farrell streets. The victim chased the suspect, but the younger man pulled a gun and threatened the victim before fleeing on foot.  

Man robbed in two-on-one attack

Around 11:30 p.m. on November 10th, a 57-year-old man walking near the intersection of Turk and Polk streets was pushed to the ground by a male suspect, while a second man stole the victim’s wallet. The victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The suspects remain at large. 

Woman attacked, robbed in retail store

An 18-year-old female was struck from behind in a retail store near the intersection of 5th and Market streets around 3:00 p.m. on November 9th. The victim fell to the ground and was robbed of her backpack, containing her phone and money. The suspect fled the scene and has not been identified. 

Robber punches victim before stealing property

Just after midnight on November 8th, a 46-year-old man was punched by another man, 37, near the intersection of Golden Gate Avenue and Leavenworth Street. The suspect stole the victim’s phone and money, and remains at large.

Anyone who has information about the incidents described above is encouraged to contact SFPD via the department's anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444, or text TIP411 with "SFPD" at the start of the message.

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Tenderloin crime serial arsonist caught suspect arrested in homicide man attacked in muni shelter