San Francisco

Man Attacks San Francisco Car Burglar

A possible car burglary in San Francisco tested the limits of what one man was willing to tolerate.

A man living near Duboce Park bolted out of his house in the middle of the night Wednesday and chased down an alleged burglar with a metal weapon, police said.

Depending on which way the wind blows in the city, anyone can be stung by property crime.

"A car break-in, an iPhone snatching, a bicycle being robbed," said resident Matthew Denckla. "It just happens. You just have to learn to live with it."

Some neighbors have come to terms with that reality but apparently, not everyone.

"Um, [I heard] 'Help me, help me, cops! Please help me!’ Something like that … 'Help, get the cops!'" said witness Jinoush Amjadi, who lives near the corner of Buchanan and Hermann and awoke Wednesday around 3 a.m. to cries from an alleged burglar.

"The other guy was like, ‘You were trying to break into my car!’ And running after him. So, he did actually accuse him of doing that, while the chase was happening," Amjadi said.

The chase ended at the gates of the U.S. Mint building just blocks from Duboce Park.

Officer Joseph Tomlinson said it all started when a woman saw a man kneeling next to her car with the window broken.

"She wakes up her husband, tells him, ‘hey, someone’s out there.’ He comes out and throws an object at the person — striking him in the forearm," Tomlinson said.

Both men now face possible charges in a case blending break-ins and vigilante justice.

Denckla thinks the mid-week heat played a role.

"They’re just a little bit more edged up, because nobody has air conditioning, it’s 80-something degrees in their house, it’s a hundred-something degrees outside," he said. "You know, people get crazy!"

The witness described the object thrown as a metal pipe. As for the man accused of breaking into the car, he had stolen items on him at the time of the arrest.

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