FiDi & North Beach Crime Roundup: Violent Cell Phone Robberies, Shooting … – Hoodline

In this week’s Captain’s Newsletter, SFPD Central Station Capt. David Lazar gives suggestions for keeping your cell phone safe—just in time, given this week’s rash of robberies—and includes a flyer on Halloween safety tips.

Also, earlier this week, we reported that Andrew Linton, owner of Fife & Sons apparel shop (1429 Grant Ave.) in North Beach had his phone stolen on Oct. 23rd, and his girlfriend recovered it after it using the Find My iPhone app. Later, Linton called us back to say after that incident, he’d hooked up more security cameras, which caught a man who appears to be the same cell phone thief punching a man in front of his shop and stealing his phone. (SFPD has been urging local merchants to install more cameras to help them with IDs.)

The SFPD recap from that day reported that a 38-year-old man’s nose was broken and his smart phone stolen in a robbery on the 1400 block of Grant Avenue near Green Street in North Beach at 9:58am Oct. 27th. The suspect fled in an unknown direction, and the victim sought medical attention on his own.

Linton called us to say the suspect is shown on video leaning against a parking meter. Another man approaches and, while talking on his phone, puts money in the meter. It appears he slightly pushes the suspect, Linton said. After the two exchange words, the suspect punches the man in the face, causing the other man to drop his phone. The suspect then starts to follow the suspect, who punches him again. “The guy just turns and clocks him; punched him right in the face,” Linton said. “It looked like it really hurt.”

Another Grant Avenue businessperson used Find My iPhone to track the stolen phone to Jack Early Park on Telegraph Hill. When she recognized the suspect, she called police, who arrested him and found the stolen phone in his shoe. SFPD confirmed Dimitri Clark, 53, was arrested and charged with robbery, possession of stolen property and possession of dirk/dagger/concealed. He was booked at SF County Jail and has no local address.

And now for the rest of this week’s local crimes, which include more brazen cell phone grabs and other violent incidents.

Mystery caller threatens to shoot hotel

A man made criminal threats and tried to extort a hotel on the unit block of New Montgomery (which would be the Palace Hotel) in the FiDi on Oct. 23rd. He called at 10:36am and identified himself as part of a gang, and threatened to shoot the hotel if it did not pay him money. The suspect didn’t identify any individuals. No shooting occurred and no arrest was made.

Pushing leads to shooting

At 6:14pm Oct. 23rd, a man, 19, and his friend were approached by five men on the 200 block of Powell Street in Union Square. The victim pushed one suspect, who then grabbed a handgun from his backpack and shot the victim. He suffered a gunshot wound to the hip and went to Kaiser, then was taken to San Francisco General Hospital. The suspects fled.

Electronics and money stolen in hot prowl burglary

A hot prowl burglary occurred in the 1500 block of Hyde Street near the border of Russian Hill and Nob Hill sometime between 10:30pm Oct. 23rd and 7am Oct. 24th. A man, 28, woke up to find a window at his residence ajar. His tablet, laptop, wallet and money were stolen while he slept.

Argument at valet lot ends in carjacking

A 33-year-old woman was the victim of a carjacking at 6:50am Oct. 24th on the 700 block of Kearny Street in Chinatown. She’d loaned her mother’s car to an acquaintance of a friend the night before. She went to meet her friend, a man of about 20–30 years old, at a valet lot to retrieve the car. They got into an argument, and the man produced a gun and took the car, a black Cadillac SRX SUV. The suspect drove over the victim’s foot when leaving the scene. The car was recovered on the 1600 block of Oak Street.

Woman mugged for backpack

At Pine and Front streets in the FiDi at 11:05pm Oct. 25th, a woman, 52, was walking when a man approached her and hit her once with a rubber object. A second man came from behind and took her backpack containing her wallet and cell phone. The suspects fled on foot; the victim was not injured.

Flower vendor punched in face, but suspect is nabbed

A potential flower robbery on the 200 block of Montgomery Street in the FiDi was thwarted by a bystander and security guard at 11:07am Oct. 26th. The suspect grabbed a bouquet of flowers and attempted to leave without paying. When the victim, a 54-year-old man, grabbed the flowers, the suspect started punching him in the face. A bystander and security guard grabbed the suspect and held him until police arrived. The victim refused medical treatment.

Chinatown bank robbed

A man entered a bank on the 1000 block of Stockton Street in Chinatown at 3:20pm Oct. 26th, handed the victim, a 28-year-old woman, a note, and demanded money. She complied, and he fled the bank southbound on Stockton.

Man punched in face for cell phone

At Stockton and Ellis streets in Union Square at 9:57pm Oct. 26th, two men approached another man, 54, punched him in the face, grabbed his cell phone and fled. The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with facial bruising.

Team with getaway car steals backpack and phone

A woman, 25, was walking home on Mason Street at Green on Russian Hill at 10:30pm Oct. 26th when a man approached her from behind, pulled her hair and threw her down. He took her backpack and fled to a waiting vehicle—a black late 1990s Lincoln—where another man was waiting. She suffered an abrasion to her knee and the loss of her cell phone and backpack.

Home burglarized while man slept

A burglar entered an apartment on the 800 block of Filbert Street in North Beach sometime between 2–8am Oct. 27th and made off with a backpack, laptop computer and money. The victim, a 34-year-old man, woke up and noticed the front door unlocked and property missing. There were no signs of forced entry.

Man punched in head during cell phone robbery

While waiting for his wife, a man, 60, stepped out of his car to make a call on his cell phone at 11:15pm Oct. 27th on the 800 block of Jackson Street in Chinatown when a man punched him in the head, stole his cell phone and ran with it. The victim fell and hit his head, and suffered a cut to his eye and the back of his head in the incident.

Party ends on violent note

A man, 42, was assaulted after a party at his hotel room in the 400 block of Geary Street near Union Square at 5am Oct. 28th. A woman had been invited to the party, and when everyone else left, she tried to take the victim’s wallet by hitting him over the head with an unknown object, causing an injury. He got a cut on his head and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with a non-life-threatening injury; no word on whether the wallet was taken. The suspect fled.

Robber uses pepper spray to grab phone

At 3am Oct. 28th at Market and Powell streets near Union Square, a man, 45, was walking and holding his cell phone when another man approached him, pepper sprayed him in the face, stole his phone and ran. The victim refused medical treatment.

Man follows woman, breaks into home

A burglar broke into a woman’s home on the 1000 block of Washington Street at the edge of Chinatown at 10:55pm on Oct. 28th. The woman, 26, was walking home and observed a man behind her. She entered her residence, after which she heard a window break and heard footsteps. Another woman in the residence opened her bedroom door, and the suspect fled. No loss was reported.

Late-night beating leaves man severely hurt

Two men got into a verbal argument at 11:40pm Oct. 28th in Hallidie Plaza near Union Square, and it escalated to a physical fight. The younger of the two attacked the other man, causing him to lose consciousness. The victim was later admitted to St. Francis Hospital with a traumatic brain injury. SFPD later confirmed the victim had non-life-threatening injuries, but gave no further details on the fight or the victim’s condition.

Woman’s thumb hurt in cell phone robbery

Finally, in yet another in a string of cell phone robberies this week, a woman, 30, was standing and holding her phone in one hand at 11:45am at Geary and Powell streets in Union Square when a man approached from her side and grabbed her hand forcefully. He then grabbed her phone and fled. She refused medical treatment.


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