San Francisco

Mystery Boulders on SF Street the Work of Neighbors to Deter Crime

The mystery of boulders that popped up in a San Francisco neighborhood appears to be solved. The city’s not behind it, and neighbors are taking credit, saying they’ve had it with homeless camps and crime along their street.

The boulders along Clinton Park were moved in about two weeks ago, but initially it was a mystery how they got there.

On Tuesday, the neighbors decided to come clean. The group believes the boulders can help keep crime at bay. So, neighbors pooled their money together to put about 18 large rocks along the sidewalk, where they said people have been selling drugs and leaving human waste outside their homes. The city was’t doing anything about it, residents said.

"It makes me kinda sad," resident Alissa Moe said. "I haven’t noticed people hanging out on the street the last couple of days."

But to city officials, the whole thing is still a mystery, especially how the boulders were moved in.

"We really don’t know how the boulders got here," said Rachel Gordon of the city's Public Works Department. "It’s possible they could be deemed illegal dumping; they could be there without a permit. There are definitely scenarios we’re looking at."

Not all the residents along the street are happy with the result.

"Oh, they’re to make everything look nicer. No. It’s to try and keep vagrants away," neighbor Alan Walton said. "If they’re gonna do it, be truthful about it."

People living on the street did say it has been a little quieter at night since the big stones moved in. But the city said it will continue to look into the legality of the boulders.

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