General Crime

* San Francisco Police and Fire Arson Investigators Seek Public’s Help to Solve Arsons Throughout the City

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San Francisco police today asked for the public’s help in solving a spate of vehicle arsons that has left at least 14 cars damaged in 12 separate incidents since Thursday.  No arrests have been made in connection with the arsons, but police said some of the fires were set the same way, with lit newspapers placed under the wheel wells of the cars. Most of the fires were lit from the outside of the cars and some of the vehicles have been completely destroyed. The arsons have not been confined to one part of the city, though several have taken place in the Western Addition and the Richmond District.  Others have occurred in the Financial District, the North Beach neighborhood and the Bayview District. Police today called for the public’s help in solving the arson
spree. Anyone who either witnessed any of the arsons, or has information about them, is asked to contact the arson detail at (415) 920-2944 or the department’s confidential tip line at (415) 575-4444.  Police have reported vehicle arsons July 23 at 12:05 a.m. at Post Street and Van Ness Avenue and 6:19 a.m. at Geary Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue; July 25 at 3 a.m. at California and Battery streets and 11:37 p.m. at Franklin and Fern streets; July 26 at 4:08 a.m. at Olive Street and Van Ness Avenue; and July 27 at 2:30 a.m. in the 100 block of 12th Street. On Monday, another car arson was reported at 4 a.m. at 48th Avenue and Geary Boulevard, two cars were found burned 15 minutes later at 10 Bertie Minor Lane in the Western Addition, and another was found aflame at 5:50 a.m. at 29th Avenue and Geary Boulevard. Bayview District police today said a car was found fully engulfed in flames at 11:26 p.m. Monday at Selby Street and Oakdale Avenue. This morning at 1:50 a.m., two vehicles were found burnt in the
300 block of Francisco Street, in front of Francisco Middle School in the North Beach neighborhood, at 1:50 a.m., police and fire officials said. At 3:15 a.m., another vehicle was burned in the 700 block of La Playa near Balboa Street, in the Richmond District. Investigators have not made any links between the vehicle fires and a series of portable toilet arson fires in the city earlier this year and late last year. Between November and February, firefighters extinguished 27 portable toilet fires, fire department spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge said. “If they do find a connection I’m sure they’ll investigate that thoroughly,” she said.

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