Cops clearing cases? Another half-baked article on crime stats in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Chronicle is at it, again. 

Like a story out of the best tabloid journalism the blaring headline trumpets the huge “spike in burglaries” in the City’s Richmond District.

What the story glaringly fails to analyze is how well the SFPD is, or is not, doing its job to “clear” or in more readily understandable language make an Arrest.

In the opening of 2021 SFPD has made arrests in less than 6% of the burglaries. In early 2020 the number of arrests was nearly 18 percent.

In reading the stats at the end of the article the question becomes.  

Why have the number of arrests fallen so precipitously?  That’s the story to be told.

SFPD Crime clearance 2.16.2021.jpg

San Francisco Chronicle 2.16.2021

San Francisco’s Richmond District has reported a 370% spike in burglaries this year compared to 2020, according to city data.

The number of burglaries reported stood at 108 as of Feb. 7 according to a report from the San Francisco Police Department’s Richmond Station. That’s up from 23 reported at the same time last year.

San Francisco police define burglaries as an unlawful entry into a home or business to commit a felony or a theft. The department defines “attempted forcible entry,” “forcible entry” and “unlawful entry,” where no force is used, as different types of crimes.

As of Feb. 7, there were 56 forcible entries reported in the Richmond. Last year that number was at 12, according to San Francisco Police Department data.

The number of attempted forcible entries reported as of Feb. 7 was 26. Compared to last year’s single reported attempted forcible entry — a 250% jump.

In all of San Francisco, burglaries have increased by 57% from 2020, according to the police department’s crime statistics dashboard.

“The department has seen an increase in burglaries across the city, particularly after the COVID-19 shelter in place orders took effect,” SFPD spokesperson Michael Andraychak told The Chronicle in an email statement. “We are seeing a trend of garage burglaries in which bicycles are being stolen.”

San Francisco police and residents have seen an uptick in home burglaries since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Richmond District and the Marina have been among the hardest hit by reported burglaries since late 2020. Police have acknowledged the difficulties in arresting burglary suspects, given that, without physical evidence or eyewitnesses, such cases can be particularly difficult to solve.

Reported car break-ins, on the other hand, have dropped after the shelter-in-place orders and travel restrictions cleared the city of tourists — frequent targets of break-ins — in mid-March.

Here are the number of reported burglaries reported as of Feb. 7 compared to last year in the Richmond, according to city data:

• Attempted forcible entry:

2021: 26

2020: 1

• Forcible entry:

2021: 56

2020: 12

• Unlawful entry (no force):

2021: 30

2020: 11

Burglary spike II 2.16.2021.jpg