FiDi/North Beach crime: Man sets fire to Christmas decorations, masked thieves rob pharmacy, more

Here are some notable incidents that have taken place in SFPD's Central District since our last biweekly recap. The district encompasses Chinatown; the Financial District; the Embarcadero; Russian, Telegraph and Nob Hills; North Beach and Union Square. 

Unless otherwise noted, all reports are drawn from the department's daily crime recaps.


Robber yanks necklace from woman's neck, steals phone

On November 26 at 2 a.m., a 30-year-old man robbed two women, 25 and 26, at the corner of Leavenworth and Bush streets in Nob Hill.

According to police reports, the suspect approached the women and pulled a necklace and pendant from one of their necks. He then stole the second woman's phone before fleeing northbound on Leavenworth in an unknown vehicle. The women were uninjured. 

Man arrested for allegedly lighting a fire outside a business

A 60-year-old man was arrested for setting a fire outside of a business on the 100 block of the Embarcadero on November 25 at 4:39 p.m. No one was injured and the fire was quickly extinguished, but the business' wall was damaged.

Police officers were able to locate the suspect and take him into custody. 

Man in life-threatening condition after skateboard attack

A 58-year-old man was left in life-threatening condition after two unknown male suspects attacked him with their skateboards. 

The incident occurred on the 500 block of California Street in the FiDi, on November 25 at 3:26 p.m. The victim, a security guard, was attempting to escort eight skateboarders from the building's property when two of them attacked and beat him with their boards.

The victim was then taken to the hospital in life-threatening condition. No arrests have been made.

Elderly woman robbed of cash

On November 25 at 11 a.m., near the intersection of California and Taylor streets in Nob Hill, a woman estimated to be in her forties robbed an 84-year-old woman. It's not clear from reports how the incident occurred, other than that the suspect allegedly took cash from the victim and fled the scene on foot. Police say the elderly victim was uninjured.

Two suspects assault 23-year-old, steal his phone and cash

On November 25, between 3 and 4 a.m., two men in their 20s robbed a 23-year-old man on the 1400 block of the Embarcadero.

The suspects approached the victim and attempted to steal his phone. That led to a struggle, with the victim attempting to hang on to the mobile device until one of the suspects hit him and was able to take control. The suspects also snatched cash from the victim's hand before fleeing on foot. 

The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the incident. 

Man arrested for igniting Christmas decorations

In North Beach on November 25, police responded to 2:15 a.m. reports of a 59-year-old man setting fire Christmas decorations on the 1200 block of Columbus Avenue.

When they arrived at the scene, officers were able to take the suspect into custody. No injuries were reported, but the holiday decorations, which belonged to a business on Columbus, were destroyed in the incident. 

Hot prowler takes cash and jewelry

A hot prowl burglary occurred on November 21 on the 900 block of Bay Street in Russian Hill.

According to the victim, a 49-year-old woman, an unknown suspect entered her house while she was at home, sometime between between 7–10 p.m. The thief took jewelry and cash before fleeing the scene. 

No suspect information was available and no arrests have been made. 

Mask-wearing suspects rush pharmacy, steal medication 

At 4:10 p.m. on November 21, on the 900 block of Hyde Street in Lower Nob Hill, two suspects, men aged 35 to 50, robbed a retail pharmacy near Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. 

According to reports, the suspects entered the business wearing masks, and rushed to the pharmacy counter. They demanded certain medications, and an employee handed over the pharmaceuticals. The suspects then fled the scene on foot, heading eastbound on Bush Street. 

Man steals items from woman's purse at restaurant, punches her

A 50-year-old man robbed a patron at a restaurant on the 700 block of Bush Street in Nob Hill November 20 at 9 p.m.

Inside the eatery, the victim, a 21-year-old woman, noticed a wallet containing cash and her passport were missing from her purse. She located tsuspect outside the restaurant and confronted him. The suspect then threw her wallet back at her and punched her, before fleeing the scene on foot. 

Suspect says he has a weapon, robs business

Finally, a man in his forties robbed a business on the 400 block of Sutter Street near Union Square November 20 at 4:45 p.m.

The suspect approached a store employee, a 26-year-old man, telling him he had a weapon and demanding cash. The employee handed over an undisclosed amount of money, and the suspect fled the scene on foot eastbound on Sutter. The victim was uninjured. 


Anyone who has information about any of these incidents 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.

Here’s why we usually don’t include suspect descriptions in crime reports.

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Fidi north beach crime man sets fire to christmas decorations masked thieves rob pharmacy more