Annex-Terrace Housing Complex Subject to Complaints about Crime
At about 1:10 p.m. on July 24, a man allegedly attempted to snatch a Potrero Hill resident’s purse as she was riding the Number 10 Muni bus near the Potrero Annex-Terrace housing complex. The suspect allegedly sat behind the victim as she was riding the bus and started tugging on the strap of her purse, which was draped over the victim messenger-bag style. The suspect eventually pulled hard enough to pull the victim from her seat, but still unable to take the purse, gave up and fled. The attempted robbery took place at Dakota and 23rd streets.
According to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), the victim, in her 40s, suffered minor injuries, but refused medical attention at the scene. The suspect is described as an African-American male in his late teens or early 20s, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and baggy jeans. Police have examined the video from the bus to get a better description of the suspect. No arrests have been made.
The victim reported the incident on Nextdoor Potrero Hill, a neighborhood social networking site. Another Potrero Hill resident responded to the victim’s posting by saying that he’s infuriated by the attack because the police, politicians and Department of Housing and Urban Development know that there’s an “entrenched criminal element” in public housing, and aren’t doing anything about the problem.
Asked about safety issues at Annex-Terrace, Bayview Station Captain Robert O’Sullivan said that there are gang members and people with arrest records who live in or frequent the complex, a few of whom are committing crime in the area. A study of drugs and crime by Terence Dunworth and Aaron Saiger found that “drug and violent offenses are severe problems in [public] housing developments.”
The Nextdoor poster who spoke out about criminal incidents near Annex-Terrace also said that homeless encampments under Highway 101 and Interstate 280 are hideaways for criminals, and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) hasn’t been doing enough to break up the camps. Criminals can avoid being detected by police by staying in homeless encampments because of the sensitive political nature of homelessness, the resident said.
According to Caltrans public information officer Steve Williams, this year his agency has spent more than 800 hours and $43,000 cleaning up homeless encampments under 280 from King Street to the 101 junction. The agency has removed 24 encampments, but can’t keep the homeless from coming back. “We’re doing the best that we can,” Williams said. Williams added that Caltrans makes weekly sweeps through the City, and the agency has hired a contractor to help with the problem.
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