(Update 9:20 a.m.): Officer Albie Esparza tells us that police are calling in a hostage negotiator to try to talk the suspect out of the shrubs and off the steep cliff. Read more after the jump.
(Update 11:11 a.m.): Per Lieutenant Liam Frost (above), the suspect is refusing to talk to cops -- but chattily answering their questions anyway. The suspect -- described by cops as a 5-foot-7, 170-pound white man in his 20s or 30s -- says he doesn't want any help, and would like police to leave.
(Update 9:45 a.m.): SF Weekly staff writer Joe Eskenazi is on the scene and tells us that police and firefighters say they have made contact with the suspect and are talking to him now. It appears that someone's morning coffee was interrupted as police and firefighters accessed the backyard of a residence to try to get to the suspect. There are coffee cups, creamer, and sugar abandoned on an outdoor table. Curious Telegraph Hill residents are watching the scene unfold using their binoculars.
Instead of following him into the hazardous vegetation, police set up a
perimeter, with bright lights and an "observation point." Police said there was not a chance they were sending an officer up that wall of vegetation, which overlooks a scary 200-foot cliff.
"If you look at the hillside, it's pretty treacherous," San Francisco
police Sgt. Pat Tobin told reporters. "You don't really know that the
brush is pretty thick there, and it's a sheer cliff coming down on
several sides of that hill. We're not going to risk someone's life to go
in after a burglary suspect right now."
Update: Police have called in the Fire Department to borrow their very large ladders so they can try to have a hostage negotiator talk some sense into the suspect, who is only described as a white man with a hoodie. "The easiest thing is for him to just come out," Esparza told us. "The terrain is really steep and the shrubbery is 8 to 10 feet thick, so that's a challenge."
About 20 officers are on the scene where they have had contact with the man three times since last night. They asked him if he needed anything to which he responded "No." However, he's awfully demanding, ordering police to pack up and leave and on another occasion he asked them to turn off the flood lights.
The last contact they had with the suspect was this morning at 2:30 a.m. However, Esparza says they believe he is still in the bushes, because there's only two ways out -- up where he came from and down the hill, which is where police have been camped out.
Officers were able to get some prints from the crime scene, and police are hoping to find a match in their system, which would allow them to identify the suspect, issue a warrant for his arrest and go after him at later date, Esparza said.
The excitement continues.