Capt. Edgar Springer: Police Beat
Things are now moving towards the holiday period. The warm weather is behind us now as are the major functions in the park.
I hope that all of you bluegrass fans had the opportunity to see Emmy Lou Harris at the Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park Oct. 27. It was a pleasure to police the event with its 5,000-plus attendees. Mr. Hellman, the promoter of the event, is looking forward to a repeat performance next year.
The holiday period is a time where the merchants and shoppers are both looking forward to lots of purchases being made. Generally, it is hoped that a lot of cash and credit card receipts will change hands. Unfortunately, the shoppers and merchants are not the only people who notice this surge in activity. For merchants, this time also brings an increased loss of merchandise due to shoplifting.
Crooks also have Christmas trees that need to be stocked with presents. As I stated last month, our Safe Shopper Program started right after Thanksgiving. You will see an increase in foot patrols along the commercial corridors in the Richmond District.
If you are a merchant, I wish you all the success that is associated with the holiday season. I realize you have to deposit your receipts and most of you generally handle this responsibly and with caution. I just want to point out, however, that many of us are creatures of habit.
If you generally leave your stores at a certain time each day carrying a certain bag and walk to your local bank branch, your habit may have been noticed by some unsavory character who is only too willing to relieve you of the hard-earned profit in that bag. If you must conduct your business at a certain time, then vary your route and leave by the back door instead of the front.
Thieves like things to run like clockwork and depend on you being a creature of habit.
If you are using cash when you shop, try to use the ATM during daylight hours and beware of your surroundings. If there is someone hanging around close to the ATM, do not use it. Also, refrain from counting each and every note as you walk away from an ATM because it could distract you from noticing someone approaching you in an unfriendly manner.
If you prefer to use a credit card, make sure the card is NEVER out of your sight. The electronic age has developed new mini scanners that can take all the relevant information from your card to create a new wave of credit card fraud.
Richmond District Officers Make Arrest
Let me tell you about one of the Richmond Police Station's finer arrests last month.
On Oct. 30, the manager at the Ocean Beach Chalet Restaurant and Brewery closed the premises and was walking to her car in the parking lot with a fellow employee when two villains approached and accosted them with a firearm.
After marching them back to the restaurant and rounding up the janitorial staff, the manager was forced to open the safe and the villains fled with a substantial amount after locking the victims in a closet. Even though the crooks thought that they had either taken or disabled all the phones at the site, the victims managed to call 911, giving the dispatcher on duty all the relevant information.
A quick response by officers, within minutes of getting the call, resulted in the suspects being spotted driving on Fulton Street near Park Presidio Boulevard. A traffic stop was made and a third suspect was discovered lying down on the back seat - still dressed in his "robbery attire."
All three are now dining three times a day on the sixth floor at the Hall of Justice while they await trial. The Beach Chalet has its money back and I am fortunate that this incident concluded without injury to my officers.
Toys for Tots Program
The Richmond Police Station. located at 461 Sixth Ave., will be accepting Christmas toys and gifts for children in need in the Richmond District. The toys will be distributed to children living at the Westside Courts and other centers. If the gift is wrapped, please indicated whether the toy is for a boy or a girl and the approximate age. Thank you for thinking of those in need.
Our next community meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m., at the Richmond Police Station's Community Meeting Room. This will be our Christmas potluck!
Capt. Springer is the commanding officer at the Richmond Police Station.