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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Apparent Piss-Poor Attempt at Car Arson in Seacliff

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 8:45 AM

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Police responded to a report of a burning car on 29th and Lake at 1:25 this morning, only to discover "smoldering newspaper on the hood" of the vehicle.

There was no damage to the car and no arrest made -- so it appears that someone has achieved the unremarkable task of burning some newspaper. Still, this apparently abortive attempt at car arson took place not far from the Geary corridor, where many of July's charred vehicles were located.

"It didn't seem to be a serious arson attempt," said police spokesman Dewayne Tully. "But it is an arson."

As noted before, 13 -- or, if you include a car immolated in McLaren park, 14 -- vehicles were burned in a July spree. These arsons ceased with the July 30 arrest of 61-year-old homeless woman Fafa Chan for an alleged unrelated arson; police were loath to out-and-out accuse Chan of this string but happy to note that the spree abruptly halted with her arrest. (SF Weekly, meanwhile, noted that the logistics of the car fires would have made it difficult for Chan to set all of them unless she was a super-powered homeless person).

Then, almost immediately after local media outlets began reporting this line of reasoning from the police, a car went up in flames. Now you can make it two.

It remains unclear if the "real" arsonist is just tweaking the cops' tails or if these are copycat arsons. It warrants mentioning that both of the recent burnings were incompetently executed and caused little to no damage to the vehicle; the Aug. 20 incident was apparently carried out using a "book" as the firestarter, not Chan's alleged kindling of choice, newspaper. This morning's attack, of course, did use newspaper -- but failed to burn anything but that paper.

Tully said no more details than what we've reported are currently available.

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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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