Notes from the Fairmount Heights Association Meeting

by Bonnee Waldstein

With the uptick in vehicular crime in Glen Park, particularly breakins, many concerned residents are gathering together to brainstorm the issues and solutions.  Captain McFadden of the Ingleside Station holds regular monthly community meetings that alternate between the Ingleside police station near Balboa Park, and neighborhoods within its jurisdiction.

There are about 103 officers on the Ingleside force, including plainclothes, a housing unit and investigators.

On this occasion, Captain McFadden was joined by Lt. Chris Schaffer of the swing watch (4 p.m. to 2 a.m.), and Sgt. David Maron.

On February 15, a neighborhood group, the Fairmount Heights Association, invited Captain McFadden to its meeting at the Police Academy. The association is an area within Glen Park comprised of the historic boundaries of the Fairmount tract.  It’s like an inverted triangle, so it’s difficult to characterize: roughly, 30th Street on the north; Dolores Street on the east; Arlington and Miguel Streets on the south; and Beacon Street on the west.

From 2015 to 2016, reported theft from vehicles in Fairmount Heights increased from 35 to 44 incidents; burglary decreased from 17 to 16; auto theft decreased from 28 to 22; other larceny decreased from 12 to 8.  There was one robbery incident during this period.

The captain cited Prop 47 as a possible contributing cause of vehicular crime — some felonies were recently reclassified as misdemeanors.  Perpetrators can work in teams, each one committing part of the crime, e.g., one smashes the window (car alarms might not be sensored for breaking windows), another steals contents, and a third might drive from the scene.  Each component  is treated as a misdemeanor rather than one felony crime.  If the perpetrators are caught, they are cited and have 30 days to appear in court.

The most “popular” stolen cars are old Toyotas, other Japanese cars, Chevys, and GMC trucks.  European cars are less prone to breakins because the keys are hard to duplicate and there’s not much of a market for chopped down models.

It’s then up to the DA or judge whether to prosecute, which may involve jail, restitution, classes, or some other punishment.  Victims have the right to request that the thief be prosecuted.  They might change their mind about proceeding with it when they learn that a young offender faces jail time.

In advocating for prosecution, it’s helpful if victims join together as a group to push for action.  Write to the judge on the case and speak as a victim in court.  If a victim is willing to talk, the case gets more priority.

Crime prevention is attempted in large part by patrol cars in the various sectors;  another method is the use of plainclothes officers. Police conduct field interviews following reports of suspicious activity and a Station Investigation Team does follow-up interviews after an incident.

Residents can take steps to deter vehicular and other crime.  Install security cameras.  In the garage, disable the button, add a lockable latch, remove the emergency rope attached to the gear lock, and don’t leave the garage door opener in the car.

Construction sites, of which there are many in Glen Park, can be quite vulnerable since they are unattended during non-work hours, especially weekends.  Again, security cameras and motion detectors can be vital.

Helpful phone numbers:  To report suspicious activity and people:  415-553-0123. Instead of 911 on cell phone, call 415-553-8090.

Other tips:  Put identifiable engraving on bikes and all personal property, even at home.  The police will call if they run a serial number on found property.  Note that no bicycle lock is 100% effective.  Back up all computer files on a separate drive or the cloud.

On the positive side, Captain McFadden said that Glen Park is safer than 99% of the city, noting that Bernal has twenty times the crime.  Like Glen Park, it has freeway access for getaways.  But Bernal attracts more “commuter” thieves because they’re more familiar with the access points such as Bayshore Boulevard.  On the other hand, once they arrive in Glen Park, they face a confusing maze of narrow twisting streets.

 

There have been many complaints about the Miguel Street “raceway.”  The Captain advises to call and be specific: Who is running a stop sign, when, which intersection?  Email the captain.  If you get no response, do it again — and again. Complaints are tracked through the emails and traffic units can be assigned to troublesome locations.

Google maps is being blamed for some of the dangerous driving through Glen Park.  The residential streets become thoroughfares and cars get sideswiped through speed and carelessness.

In order to initiate a car chase, there must be a violent felony.  The police won’t chase a car that’s evading a speeding ticket, for example;  the threat to public safety is not worth the risk.

email Captain McFadden at Joseph.McFadden@sfgov.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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See a thief work his way down all the cars on Chenery Street.

screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-10-49-25-am

A Glen Park neighbor caught this on their camera this past week. It shows a thief calmly walking past all the cars on the block and using a flashlight to see if anything was visible to steal. This occurred at 3:33 am.

One of the cars in the block got broken by the thief, though it happens just off camera so you can’t see it. Two windows broken, which cost hundreds of dollars to fix.

So don’t leave anything visible in your car at night. Remember watching this guy check out the cars slowly and carefully the next time you’re tempted to so “just this once.”

Here’s the link.

 

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Recology Rate Increase

Recology has applied to raise the rates for trash/recycling/compost pick-up. There will be a “Technical Hearing” February 28, from 4 to 6 p.m., Room 421 at City Hall, at which they will explain why they want to raise the fees, followed by a number of public hearings to receive feedback.

Public hearing dates are listed below in the text I have copied from the notice I received by email. Please direct feedback to the contacts listed in the text copied below rather than to this blog.

Refuse Rate Hearing Notice

The City’s Refuse Rate Board has received an application from Recology, the San Francisco refuse collection and disposal processing company, for an increase in residential refuse collection and disposal rates for trash, recyclables, and compostables (black, blue, and green bin services). Recology is requesting to rebate surplus revenues to ratepayers and to increase rates, for an effective increase of 16.40% in the first year (or about $5.70 a month for an average single family home), 4.98% in the second year, and 0.62% in the fourth year. Without rebates, rates would increase by an average of 22.96% in the first year. Recology is also requesting to modify the previously approved cost of living adjustment formula. If the increases are approved, the City and Recology anticipate that new rates would go into effect on July 1, 2017.

March 8 2017, 8 a.m. to noon, Room 400
March 15, 2017, 8 to 11 a.m., Room 400
March 22, 2017, 8 a.m. to noon, Room 416
March 28, 2017,8 a.m. to noon, Room 416
April 19, 2017, 8 to 11 a.m., Room 400
April 26, 2017, 8 a.m. to noon, Room 400
May 3, 2017, 8 to 11 a.m., Room 400

The hearings listed above are subject to continuation to later dates, rescheduling, or cancellation.

The Director will take public comment regarding the application at the conclusion of each hearing. The public may also submit written comments in advance of any of the hearings by electronic mail to refuserates@sfdpw.org or by regular mail to the Refuse Rate Hearing Officer, c/o Department of Public Works, City Hall, Room 348, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102.

If the Director’s Recommended Order is appealed to the Refuse Rate Board, the Rate Board will issue a new notice and hearing schedule. The Rate Board can be reached c/o City Administrator, Room 362, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102.

The City has appointed a “ratepayer advocate” to assist the public during the rate application proceedings. The role of the ratepayer advocate is to provide the public with clear and accurate information regarding the application and to represent the views of the ratepayers. The ratepayer advocate can be contacted online via their website at http://www.ratepayeradvocatesf.org, by phone at 415-324-8477, or by regular mail at Ratepayer Advocate, c/o RDJ Enterprises, 1485 Bayshore Boulevard, Suite 201, San Francisco, 94124. Appointment of a ratepayer advocate does not preclude members of the public from offering testimony in writing or in person.

Copies of relevant documents, including the Recology application, updated hearing schedules, and related documents are available at City Hall, Room 348 for public inspection and online at www.sfpublicworks/refuserates.

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