Sunset, Ingleside Bear Brunt of Residential Robberies

Thefts have declined but some neighborhoods struggling with higher amounts are demanding better police response.

(Courtesy photo)

Residential thefts are on the decline but neighborhoods like Ingleside and the Sunset bear the brunt, according to police data revealed at a Board of Supervisors hearing on Thursday.

Between 2015 and 2018, hot prowls, residential burglaries, and residential robberies went from 3,142 to 2,826 total. But where the Richmond station saw 163 in 2018, Ingleside saw 483.

During the same period, Bayview (10), Ingleside (16), and Taraval (13) stations had the highest amounts of residential robberies, which involves force or fear while in the victim’s residence.

Package or porch thefts are on the rise but it’s difficult for the city to track on its own since it’s classified as larceny or theft. 

Supervisor Gordon Mar, who called the hearing, sought data on the targeting of Asian American households in his district and brought his constituents to testify about home robberies. About a dozen, mostly immigrant seniors spoke about how, despite having footage and following up with the police, their cases seemed to be lost in the pile.

“Because of the language barrier, because of the timely fashion, we do not see that we are protected,” said Wendy Wong of the San Francisco Coalition for Good Neighbors. “We need to know that the police has enforced the law and the law needs to prosecute.”

With the 2017 re-launch of a citywide burglary unit, arrests related to the three theft categories jumped from 368 in 2017 to 465 in 2018. The District Attorney’s office reported an 86 percent residential burglary filing rate and in 2018, 88 percent of those cases taken resulted in a conviction.

Numbers for 2019 appear on track to reflect a decline. Through April 22, there was a 14 percent decrease in theft reported during the same period in 2018. Ingleside station went from five during the same period to one while Taraval went from six to two. 

Still, the concern remains. Mar announced a working group for his constituents in District 4 that would tackle home burglaries and package thefts and hold a town hall on May 26. He intends to keep pushing the issue, like looking for ways to bolster the Neighborhood Watch or help residents install security cameras.

“We must do a better job of preventing these kinds of crimes,” Mar said. “Everybody deserves to feel safe and secure in their homes.”

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