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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

S.F. Residents Beware: Razor Scooter Thug Is Roaming Streets

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 2:31 PM

WIKIMEDIA
  • Wikimedia
In San Francisco, you never know which Razor scooter-riding thug you’ll run into next.

Police are searching for a man they describe as 40 to 50 years old, likely with a blood-covered little Razor under one of his arms. (We added that last part.) On Monday afternoon, some guy allegedly mowed down a 54-year-old man who was walking on a sidewalk near Van Ness Avenue and Hayes Street. Instead of helping the guy get up, this super-predator proceeded to beat him senseless before quietly riding away.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Police Shoot, Kill Female Auto Theft Suspect in Bayview

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2016 at 1:19 PM

JONAH OWEN LAMB/TWITTER
  • Jonah Owen Lamb/Twitter
An unidentified African-American female suspected of stealing a car was shot and killed by police this morning in the Bayview District, according to police.

It does not appear the woman — who was shot while in the vehicle, which she had crashed after fleeing from police, according to the San Francisco Examiner — was armed. She was later pronounced dead at San Francisco General Hospital. 

Police working an auto burglary detail encountered the woman driving a stolen car at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, police Chief Greg Suhr said at a morning press conference. Officers approached the woman, who drove off and crashed the car into another vehicle at Shafter Avenue and Elmira Street.
Police tried to extract her from the vehicle when a "back and forth" ensued, Suhr said, after which the woman was shot once.

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Yesterday's Crimes: A Box of Bones and the Disappearance of Valerie McDonald

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2016 at 8:15 AM

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This is the third installment in a three-part series on the disappearance of Valerie McDonald from her North Beach apartment on Nov. 9, 1980. Here are the links to parts one and two.


It took over 20 years to identify the human skull and pieces of torso found on the floodplain of the Kettle River just outside of Danville, Wash. near the U.S.-Canadian border.

J.R. Sharp was just a volunteer deputy with the Ferry County Sheriff's Office when the bones were first examined and stored in the basement evidence room, but he stayed with the case even after they failed to match a nearby missing persons case.

"The driving factor was we had some human remains in our evidence room and a family out there," Sharp told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2003.

"It's our responsibility to that family to do all we can to make an identification," he added.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

The Day After Killing in Front of Police Station, Mayor, Chief Announce Police Reforms

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 1:40 PM

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On Monday morning, a somber and slightly ashen-faced Mayor Ed Lee appeared at a press conference — an act rarer and rarer for the mayor in  the nearly three months since the fatal police shooting of Mario Woods on Dec. 2. Flanked at his City Hall office by police Chief Greg Suhr, Police Commission president Suzy Loftus, and the faith  and community leaders on the police department's African-American advisory board, Lee announced "comprehensive" reforms to the city's police department.

There will be changes in the ways cops do their jobs, changes in when they can use a firearm and how, and a renewed push to give cops Tasers — and there will also be more cops — but the goal behind all the new polices, new offices, and other tweaks is trust, officials said: trust that police will do their jobs, do them without racial bias, and do them without putting the public, whose help is needed to solve crimes, at risk. "Everyone," Loftus said, "deserves the trust of police."

That all sounds nice, and it earned some praise from past critics of the mayor and the chief (who appear to have been shaken into action by Woods's death). But this won't be easy. The size of the challenge was made clear less than 24 hours earlier, when a man — young and black, of course — was shot and killed Sunday afternoon on a busy street in the Fillmore District, just across the street from a police station.

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S.F. is Becoming "The City Where Guns Are Lost"

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 12:42 PM

Look what I found! - MIKE KOOZMIN/SF EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/SF Examiner
  • Look what I found!

A young woman is fatally shot in San Francisco in July. An artist is gunned down in September in Oakland.

Aside from lives lost to gun violence, these two deaths have another troubling similarity: the murder weapon used to belong to law enforcement. 

Both the gun used to kill Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 and Oakland muralist Antonio Ramos had belonged to different federal agents, whose guns were stolen in separate thefts in San Francisco.

And now, yet another g-man has reported that he lost his gun while in the city.

This time the weapon was not stolen, but instead left on the hood of a car as the agent drove away Friday morning in the Ingleside district, according to reports.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent did quickly report the gun stolen, but it’s obviously far too late since it has yet to be recovered. The question now is where that weapon will end up.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Richmond Man Arrested in Valentine's Day Double Slaying

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 11:34 AM

click image Shooting victim Julio Peraza. - GOFUNDME
  • GoFundMe
  • Shooting victim Julio Peraza.

A Richmond man believed to be responsible for the double homicide at the Twin Peaks lookout on Valentine's Day is in custody in San Francisco, according to reports.

Richard Contreras, 19, was arrested in Richmond on Monday after a brief manhunt centering around an SUV he allegedly carjacked to flee from the scene, according to ABC-7.

Police had issued an advisory for citizens to be on the lookout for a gray GMC Yukon, stolen from unsuspecting tourists following the shooting at around 2 a.m. Sunday. That car was allegedly found parked around the corner from Contreras's Richmond home, SFist is reporting.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Cops Seek GMC SUV Connected to Saturday Night Double Homicide

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 3:53 PM

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Police are advising the public to be on the lookout for a dark gray SUV connected to Saturday night's double homicide at the popular Twin Peaks lookout.

Police responded to the area at 2:06 a.m. on Sunday morning to discover three men shot. Julio Peraza, 21, and Rene Mora, 19, both of Santa Rosa, are dead, according to the San Francisco Examiner.  

A third man was in critical condition as of Sunday. His current condition is unknown. There's no motive for the shooting as yet, but it's believed to have been a targeted event and not a random instance, according to reports.

While the shooting has in the short term led a local elected official to clamor for more cops, the cops we do have are asking the public to keep eyes peeled for a dark gray GMC Yukon Denali which the alleged shooters carjacked at the scene to use as a getaway vehicle.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Yesterday's Crimes: The Hippie Cannibal Satanist

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 9:53 AM

RANDY HEINITZ/FLICKR
  • Randy Heinitz/Flickr

Editor's Note: This is the second installment in a two-part series exploring the brutal murder of Robert Salem in San Francisco in 1970. Click here to read part one.


SFPD homicide inspectors weren't quite sure if the April 1970 murder of lamp designer Robert Salem was the work of the Zodiac Killer or a twisted copycat. However, the arrest of two hippie Satanic cultists in a hit-and run gave police a suspect in the Salem murder — and another more heinous crime.

The hippies plowed the yellow Opel sports car they'd stolen into a truck off of Highway 1 just outside Big Sur on Monday, July 13, 1970. The Detroit tourist who was driving the truck wanted to get the hippies' insurance info. The hippies fled into the woods on foot. They didn't get far before Highway Patrolman Randy Newton caught up with them.

The hippies were Stanley Dean Baker, 22, and Harry Allen Stroup, 20, both from Wyoming. After being arrested, Baker was found with a recipe for LSD, a copy of Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible, and a human finger bone that had been gnawed on.

"I have a problem," Baker confessed to Newton. "I'm a cannibal."

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FBI Releases Post-Super Bowl Trafficking Stats, But Says It Doesn’t Track the Number of Prostitutes Arrested

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 12:28 PM

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As SF Weekly reported a couple of weeks ago, the Bay Area’s anti-human trafficking operations during the Super Bowl were no joke. More than 50 organizations, an army of 5,000 trained volunteers, and a who’s who of federal law enforcement agencies — including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security — descended on six area counties to rescue trafficked women and arrest their alleged pimps, some of whom had supposedly crossed state lines to work the big game.

In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, there was a round of press conferences and bluster from City Hall and the SFPD about cracking down on traffickers. An anti-trafficking ad campaign plastered bus shelters and public transit. Hotel workers were trained, like watchdogs, to recognize pimps and sic the cops on them. Trafficking specialists breezed into town from points north and exhorted their Christian cohorts to help the victims.

It was a sprawling effort, but did it make a difference?

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Yesterday's Crimes: The Zodiac Killer Answers His Copycats

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 9:53 AM

RANDY HEINITZ/FLICKR
  • Randy Heinitz/Flickr

There were trails of blood throughout what the San Francisco Chronicle called “an expensively-decorated hippie-style pad,” according to the paper's cover story on Monday, April 20, 1970.

The apartment at 745 Stevenson Street in San Francisco belonged to Robert Salem, 40, a notable designer of hurricane lamps. Salem was "a graying man who wore his hair long and apparently had an interest in gurus and health foods" according to the Chronicle. Friends of Salem broke into his live-work space on Sunday, April 19, 1970, when they hadn't seen him in several days.

They found him dead on one of his couches. Salem had been stabbed seven times with a very sharp knife. His head was nearly severed from his body. When decapitation proved too difficult, the killer cut off Salem’s ear. Investigators never found the ear.

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