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Monday, April 20, 2009

Alleged Serial Burglar Nabbed in West Portal

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge hamburglar.gif
While, when it comes to homicides, it appears that it's once again open season in the city, it's nice to see that a concerted police effort to stamp out a spree of lesser crimes appears to have borne fruit. (It also gave the cops the opportunity to use the term "dragnet" with a straight face).

A string of what the police call "hot prowl" burglaries -- entries into people's homes as they sleep -- had been reported in West Portal, St. Francis Wood and Forest Hill, with the primary target being computers and electronics. The "dragnet" (ahem) comprised a beefing up of the number of plainclothes officers from Taraval station planted throughout the neighborhoods, who could quickly respond in the event of a burglary call.

It seems the plan came to fruition: In the early morning hours of Sunday, a West Portal couple was awakened by the noise of a burglar fleeing from their home.

The intruder had made off with a laptop, iPhone, and camera. The couple called 911, and, in the words of Capt. Paul Chignell, "Taraval officers responded to the scene and surrounding area within seconds."

Police in the area spotted a man at West Portal station with a computer and camera protruding from his bag. In, what appears to be a use of fairly arcane language on the release describing this incident, police claim the suspect was "trying to secrete himself in a bus shelter..." Rather than make a scatological joke, it seems the man was trying to hide from the cops.

Police detained the man, who turned out to be carrying the swag ripped off from the West Portal home. In fact, three other nearby homes were burglarized on the same morning -- and several of the stolen items were also discovered in the man's bag.

If only he'd managed to secrete himself sooner.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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