March 20, 2010

Crime Beat: Church Street Shenanigans

We got this note from a reader a few days ago:
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.


Anonymous said...

several months later but..

my iphone was also stolen out of my hands on j church (at duboce). be alert. this is a scary mistake you don't want to make on your own.