Police Beat

Police Beat – Capt. Nicholas Rainsford

Let’s Fight Against Burglaries

By Nicholas Rainsford

The thing that burns me up the most about residential burglaries is that it is a total invasion into your privacy and personal living space.  We all should rightfully expect to be secure in our homes and be in a place where we can relax and get some rest from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  

Although our numbers are looking pretty good as year to date (YTD) in 2018, there were 157 reported burglaries as compared to 79 YTD in 2019. That’s almost a 50 percent reduction, but there is more work to do.  

Recently the plainclothes Taraval Neighborhood Team (TNT) took down a burglary crew from the East Bay that was coming to San Francisco and posing as utility workers. Working together, crime scene investigations (CSI), TNT and the burglary unit developed investigative leads and followed up with search and arrest warrants. That led to the recovery of items stolen in several home burglaries, as well as the arrest of two suspects. Job well done. The case now is with the district attorney’s office. Let’s hope for a good outcome in the courts that supports the community.  

I continue to monitor trends of when and where burglaries are happening. This information is pushed out to all patrol officers in a weekly intelligence report so they can focus on affected areas.  Plainclothes officers are also watching these areas, so criminals beware.

Ask for Identification

If someone shows up at your door unscheduled and says they are with a utility company, such as PG&E, a cable company or any other service and that company has not been in contact with you prior, that could be a sign they are not who they say they are.  Ask for ID, call the company’s 800 number or call the police and we can sort it out.

Another thing that really gets under my skin is when burglaries are committed at residences under construction and a lot of high-value power tools are stolen. There has been a rash of these types of burglaries lately and my focus has turned to catching those responsible. The contractors who have been victimized are hard-working people trying to make an honest living and they have the means by which they make a living stolen from them.

If you see something strange going on at a work site outside of normal business hours, give the police a call. Again, we will sort it out.  Additionally I would like to add to the message of, “If you see something, say something.”  If you see something, you can also “video that something.” Most of us have cell phones handy and video of criminal activity provides investigative leads we otherwise may not get.

In closing, I wrote last month about safe driving and I want to give a reminder that traffic enforcement will be ongoing, especially around our five areas with the most collisions, which we call the “focus on the five.” Drive the speed limit, put your phone down and yield to pedestrians. I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but it’s not worth it if you are the cause of a collision for not being attentive to the road and the laws.

Follow me on Twitter at @SFPDTaraval for some really interesting tweets and go to Taraval.org for much more information on crimes tips, traffic safety, home safety and much more.

Captain Nicholas Rainsford is the commanding officer at the Taraval Police Station.

Categories: Police Beat

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