Weekend Fires Highlight Growing S.F. Arson Problem

In 2017, San Francisco Police received 18 percent more arson reports than the year prior. This weekend showed the trend isn’t slowing down.

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This weekend was lit — literally. Saturday and Sunday saw three vehicle fires citywide, plus a street fire — with zero arrests made.

On Saturday, San Francisco Police responded to a vehicle fire just after 7 a.m. near Rhode Island and 23rd streets in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. Police found a torched car with no occupants or victims at the scene. No arrests were made.

Then on Sunday, police from the Tenderloin station responded to an unspecified street fire at 6 p.m. near Grove Street and Van Ness Avenue. Police found books and CDs burnt to a crisp, but no victims or suspects. No arrests were made in the case.

Later in the night, two identical vehicle fires hit the northern part of San Francisco in what is shaping up to be arson-related investigations.

Police arrived at the first one at Steiner and Filbert streets just after 11 p.m. At the scene, a 26-year-old female told police an unknown male started a fire that burned her vehicle before fleeing the scene on foot. Police did not arrest or identify a suspect.

Then on the 300 block of Pierce Street, two miles south of the first fire, police arrived at the scene of another fire at 11:30 p.m. The 50-year-old female victim told police an unknown male set fire to her car before fleeing the scene on foot. No injuries were reported and no arrests were made.

The fires this weekend come in the wake of SFPD’s 2017 crime data report, which SF Weekly reported on last week. In the report, it was disclosed that arson incidents rose 18 percent in 2017, up to 303 cases.

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