Police and Guns on Clarendon – and Why

Our neighborhood doesn’t see much crime, so it was surprising when neighbor Florence Meyering posted on NextDoor that there were police on Clarendon Avenue with guns drawn! (This was on 23rd July 2016 around 5.30 p.m.)

Police on ClarendonAs I was driving on Clarendon/Twin Peaks Blvd, I saw police with guns out and police cars were arriving from everywhere. They were looking at the hill towards Mount Sutro Forest. Does anyone know what was going on and if they caught whomever were were after?” she posted, along with the picture above.

So I wrote to Park Station police, and they wrote back within a couple of days: “On that date and time, there was a carjacking that occurred. I believe officers were most likely responding to this incident. The suspect is in custody and the stolen vehicle returned to it’s rightful owner.”

All’s well that ends well.


January 2013 Crime (Such as it is), and Poisoned Tree Update

Drunken CarAs usual, there was nothing much from Forest Knolls or Midtown Terrace in the Park Station police newsletters. (We like it that way!)

But a few things did catch my eye:

January 23, 1.49 a.m. Drunk driving at Clarendon and Oak Park. “Sergeant Callaway & Lewis located a vehicle that had been involved in a hit & run traffic collision. The driver was determined to be seriously in the bag.”

Jan 17th, 1.55 a.m.  A report of an attempted “hot prowl” at 300 Warren Drive: “Victim was awoken by noise at his rear door. He looked out and saw the suspect trying to break in. Victim yelled at the suspect who fled.” (A “hot prowl” is when someone enters a home when people are present.)

Jan 17th, 12.30 p.m.  Malicious damage to a vehicle at Clarendon and Panorama.

Jan 17th, 11.15 a.m.  A collision at Clarendon and Christopher, because someone was going too fast.

Jan 5th, 9 a.m. 100 Marview. A  car was stolen.

Jan 3rd, 11.30 p.m. Collision at Crestmont and Devonshire – someone was speeding.


Those poisoned trees, which I wrote about HERE? I’d written to UCSF about them; they said it looked like it was SFWD’s business. A few days ago, I saw SFWD working there, and now it looks like they have cut down one of the trees and trimmed the other. I suppose there was no other way with the trees becoming unsafe.

poisoned trees gone

Crime! in Forest Knolls?

I subscribe to the Park Station Police newsletter for our area, and glance through it quickly to check if there’s anything in our neighborhood. Usually, there’s nothing. This week, there were a few reports.

  • On October 14th, 4:20 AM at Crestmont & Christopher: Malicious Mischief,  “A vile vandal damaged the lock to the victim’s toolbox.”
  • On October 16th, 6.30 a.m at 400 Crestmont: Theft from a locked vehicle.

A bit of a crime-wave, but perhaps the news below takes care of it?

Parks Station Police Alliteration

I’ve been following the Parks Station Police newsletter for some time now, just to know what’s going on – particularly in our neighborhood. Though the 15 June 2012 newsletter had nothing about Forest Knolls or Midtown Terrace (fortunately);  it was an interesting read.

We’ve just had a changing of the guard: Captain Feeney transferred out, and Captain Greg Corales has assumed command. Captain Corrales is making a push to clean up the Alvord Lake area, which has become the Drug-Dealer’s Mart. Captain Corrales himself was able to make two purchases there; and when he sent in his undercover people, they made three more.

He’s also the Editor-in-Chief of the newsletter. So is he the one responsible for the amazing alliteration appearing there?


What first caught my eye was the suspicious skulkers slinking sinisterly.


And then, another one who wasn’t just a suspicious subject, but an actual scoundrel!


Besides the slinking skulkers, our Parks Station Police Personnel have been confronting: truculent thugs who are mendacious miscreants, suspicious slumberers, remorseless reprobates, violent vandals, and booze banditos. To say nothing of  furtive fugitives…

Here’s a thank you to the Parks Station Police, not only for the essential and important work that they do, but also for the remarkable rousing reporting.

Cole Valley Hold-up

This came from the San Francisco Police Department’s  Park Station newsletter… and I thought it was too good not to share.

It happened on the 900 block of Cole St. (Carl Ave.)

Officer Ferraz and posse responded on a call of a man with a gun, wherein a passerby called 911 to report a robbery in progress. The officers found a masked gunman standing behind a liquor store’s counter. The gunman refused to put down his pistol and the officers overpowered and disarmed him.

They then discovered that the gun was a replica, that the gunman was an actor, and that the filming crew recording the scene from across the street had not applied for a permit from the San Francisco Film Commission.

I wonder what the film-makers are going to do with that cinema verite footage…

ETA: And the next thing I know… the story’s on Reuters!

ETA 2: Apparently there was no cinema verite footage because the camera crew got scared when the police arrived, and stopped filming. Also, there was no permit needed because they were filming on private property…

Flyer: SFPD Park Station Contacts

Another flyer that Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization circulated was a list of contact details for the SFPD Park Station police. (They’re our neighborhood police station.) Here it is:

The other side had burglary prevention tips. We’ve asked SAFE, the outfit that wrote them, for permission to publish them here. If they agree, we’ll edit this to add them in. [Edited to Add: SAFE gave permission and additional information. We’ve published them separately, here and here.]

(FKNO is at http://www.forestknolls.org, not forestknolls.com — a cheap realty website; nor www.forestknolls.info — which is the site you’re on now. Note the different extensions: org, com, and info.)

Signal Boost: 10-week SF Community Police Academy Course

This came from the Parks Station Police Academy newsletter:

Join the San Francisco Community Police Academy

The Community Police Academy is a 10-week program that meets once a week and is designed to inform and teach interested participants various aspects of municipal policing, including patrol and investigations procedures, vehicle operations, arrest and control techniques, firearm procedures and emergency communications. The Academy’s goals are to develop community awareness through education and to develop a closer understanding and working relationship between the San Francisco Police Department and its communities. Members of the community are encouraged to join and learn about the San Francisco Police Department. Participants can ask questions and offer comments within each class.

The next class is scheduled to start on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. We encourage high school students 15 and over to attend. The Community Police Academy participants are selected by the program coordinators after an application process. Enrollment is limited to twenty-five students per class.

For more information, including the application process, visit our website or please contact:

Ms. Lula Magallon at (415) 401-4720 or

Officer Maria Oropeza at (415) 401-4701.

“Summer” is Burglar Season

San Francisco is special; our summer begins in the Fall…

And there was a helpful reminder in the Park Station Police newsletter about securing our homes. I’m reproducing it here.

“Prevent Home Burglaries!

With our Indian summer upon us, the days and nights are warming up. People have the tendency to leave their windows open while at work during the day and overnight to keep their homes cool. Something to keep in mind is that burglars are aware of these trends, so it’s important to keep windows and doors locked at all times. Especially those located at the rear end of your homes; backyard-hopping is a common access point into homes and/or garages. It’s nice to be able to open your windows on a beautiful sunny day and sometimes we just forget to close them up. Take this opportunity to gather with your neighbors and form a Neighborhood Watch group. Working together and knowing your neighbors can help to prevent burglaries in your area. Get organized and become more aware of suspicious individuals and activities taking place. Call SF SAFE at (415) 673-SAFE to start your Neighborhood Watch group or for a Residential Security Assessment.  You can also email info@sfsafe.org.  Visit http://www.sfsafe.org for more information and safety tips.”

Muni Thefts, SFPD Maps

We’re getting the Park Station newsletter from the SFPD. One of the articles concerned crime on the Muni. Apparently, there’s been an rash of thefts targeting people using laptops and Ipods  and the like on the Muni trains or stops. The newsletter had some tips:

“Passengers are reminded to be aware of their surroundings while traveling on Muni. Suspects prey on victims using these devices knowing they are distracted while texting or listening to music on PDAs, using laptops, and talking on cellular phones. Passengers should be careful to limit the use of these devices and always be aware of other passengers on the vehicle.

“If a passenger notices anything suspicious, the person should call the Muni complaint line, 923-6164. For emergencies or for crimes in progress, call 9-1-1 (553-8090 for cellular phones), and for non-emergencies, 553-0123.”

Maybe a good idea to enter that number on your cellphones.

Anyone who wants to get on the Park Station newsletter list can do so by emailing Captain Teri Barrett. Her email address is teresa.barrett@sfgov.org


The SFPD website also has a neat tool – an interactive map which allows you to see crimes reported in a specific area in the previous 90 days.  It needs a fast internet connection – DSL or Cable – and it’s a bit slow. It doesn’t show homicides, and it’s hedged about with warnings about its accuracy. Still it gives an interesting picture of crime in the area. (Forest Knolls had three thefts from cars, all on Warren Drive. It’s a relatively safe area, but don’t leave anything valuable where it can be seen.)

Neighborhood Meeting – Police, Traffic, Sutro Forest, and Crestmont

The Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization meeting earlier this evening featured a number of speakers:

Police Captain Teri Barrett of the Park Station (at Waller x Stanyan) talking about crime.

The main problem in our (aside from speeding) was auto burglaries with broken car windows. (Don’t leave anything valuable visible! Put it in the trunk.) She was also enthusiastic about Comstat, an information technology that provides real-time information about crime; and about a reorganization that put more resources out at the stations. She also said if you want to be on the email list for the police blotter, email her at teresa.barrett@sfgov.org

Jack Fleck

Jack Fleck of the Municipal Transport Agency talking about traffic.

He spoke of the issues with putting in Speed Humps: cost, and pain for people in the disability community who have spinal problems. They do traffic studies. If 85% of cars are going at least 5 miles over the speed limit, they’ll consider it. He also discussed traffic from Clarendon School drop-offs and pick-ups.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd talking about the traffic mess expected at St Francis Circle this summer, and Laguna Honda Hospital’s planned June 2010 opening.

Sean Elsbernd

He also took questions on various topics, including solar panels on reservoirs. (Yes, we will have them if the pilot project works. No, the power won’t come to our homes, it’ll go to the City.) And some got to see a cell-phone pic of his cute baby…

There was a Sutro Cloud Forest presentation, covering topics discussed at the Save Sutro website.

UCSF had applied for a FEMA grant to cut down 90% of the trees under 3 feet in girth, and remove all the understory, from a quarter of the forest, for the purpose of Fire Hazard Mitigation. In fact, CalFire classifies this area only as Moderate fire hazard, its lowest rating. Moreover, this is a Cloud Forest: the eucalyptus catches moisture from the fog, it falls into the duff which holds it like a sponge, and the understory further insulates it from drying out. So year round, it’s damp in the forest. Our concerns were that the Plan would open out the forest, making it windier and dryer, and also artificially reclassify the area as having a Very High fire risk, with implications for insurance and disclosure on sale of homes. Other concerns: increased landslide risk, toxic herbicides, weakening of the remaining trees, and loss of habitat for birds and animals  in this Historic forest.  UCSF has withdrawn its FEMA application, and has called a meeting for 24 March 2010 to discuss its next steps. [Edited to Add: The meeting report is here.]

Walter Caplan of Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization, who ran the meeting, read out an email from Craig Dawson of Mt Sutro Stewards , which regretted he couldn’t make it and was concerned there would be no counterbalance to the Save Sutro presentation. Unexpectedly, he made it after all. He described his autobiography, the beauty of the forest, the Historic Trail the Mt Sutro Stewards are working on now connecting Stanyan with the forest, and the work they’re doing building trails all over the city. There did not appear to be any conflict with the prior presentation.

Dr Sam Sobol talking about Crestmont Hills.

The project, which had seemed dead, is being revived. An Enviromental Review is now in progress. Look here for more information, or at the Crestmont Preservation website.

We ran out of time for questions. If you put any questions in the comments here, we’ll forward them to the right person.