I was walking down Church south of 26th today (beautiful sunny day) when a woman said something--I thought it might be my name but then she said "Italiana?" and I said no. I thought she was Italian, but then she switched to English and kept walking with me. Said she lived in the Mission and then started asking "friendly" questions--where was I from, did I have kids. I noticed a man with gray curly hair in a puffy zip up jacket who seemed to be listening and then walked ahead of us. Felt wrong, so I turned a corner. She was 5'4" with long brown/graying curly hair, with a cell phone around her neck. No idea what the story was, and don't want to know.Paranoid? Maybe. Safe choice regardless. Then we got this note yesterday:
Just a quick PSA to your readers: I had my iPhone stolen out of my hands on the J Church during the middle of the day. I was coming from downtown, a young black guy grabbed my phone at 16th and Church just as the train pulled into the stop, jumped off and ran down 16th Street. I reported the theft to the police and the officer who took my report said there have many similar cases recently. Because I had the train number, stop and time of the crime, they were able to pull the video from the train. I had my head in my email, but the video shows the perp stalking me and eyeing my phone right up until he grabbed it and ran. When I went to the Apple store to replace my stolen 2-year old phone, the clerk said many customers in the last week were coming in to replace stolen iPhones. So to my fellow J Church and Muni riders out there, stay frosty, watch for people stalking you, and consider bringing a book instead of a phone to entertain you on the commute.Two notes don't make a trend, but we did think these items were worth passing along.
Things we've learned: Crime on Muni? Get the driver to call the police right then and there. If they won't call, get the train number and call yourself (borrow a phone if you have to). Suspicious activity on the street? Go with your gut and get to a secure place. And most of all, keep your valuables out of sight. Most of the violent crimes in Noe Valley are thugs looking for stuff to steal.