December 2012

Crime and Safety Report

Amber Hawkins

A new tactic is being used by would-be burglars to determine whether or not a house is occupied. It’s a simple ploy that many teenagers have used to find out if their siblings have entered their rooms. Here’s how it works: place a piece of tape over a closed door, making sure to cover the gap that would be broken if someone opens the door. If the tape is ripped, someone has entered.

Incidences of taped exterior doors – that weren’t the result of sibling rivalry – were recently discovered in Bernal Heights. A post on Bernalwood, a community blog, stated, “I wanted to let your readers know about what seems to be organized preparations for home theft in our neighborhood. We live on Coleridge Street, and over the last week or two we noticed little pieces of painter’s tape attached to our front door, between the frame and the door. The tape turns up during night. It would appear that the idea is to monitor who is home and who’s out on vacation. We have noticed the tape on several houses in our street.”

According to Bayview Captain Robert O’Sullivan, the San Francisco Police Department is aware of the tactic; Bayview police have been in contact with neighboring stations, which have received the majority of “tape” reports. Although O’Sullivan stated that Potrero Hill hasn’t been the subject of any tape-related incidences, residents should be conscious and aware. A Utah Street resident told the View that he’d seen a taped door on the 300 block of Utah Street, and there have been sightings in the Mission.

During the holiday season O’Sullivan advised that when ordering gifts online, pay close attention to the delivery date. If you’re not able to track your packages, have a neighbor help keep an eye out.

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