San Francisco Police just watch as a burglary appears to be going on, suspects walk away, surveillance video shows

San Francisco police responding to a 911 call about a possible cannabis dispensary burglary last week arrived at the scene in the neighborhood north of Panhandle, which appears to have been the perfect time to make an arrest.

Three suspects were present. Police had time to shine the spotlight on a possible getaway vehicle, which was parked outside the company, while a final suspect lingered inside the dispensary and would not exit for nearly 40 seconds.

But instead of confronting the suspects or arresting anyone, the police stood there as the last suspect exited the building, awkwardly jumped into the driver’s seat of the gray sedan, and made a three-point turn. in front of the police vehicles and left.

The incident on November 16, which was captured by surveillance video obtained by The Chronicle, angered the business owner and his daughter. She saw it as a deliberate choice to “almost allow the crime to happen”. It comes at a time when the city is bitterly divided over whether police, district attorney Chesa Boudin or city leaders are to blame as tensions over public safety issues mount.

Surveillance video shows what appears to be a burglary at a cannabis dispensary north of the Panhandle in San Francisco. Police arrive as the scene unfolds – a police car shines its spotlight on the apparent fleeing vehicle – but neither engage the suspects nor let the car go. Portions of this video have been removed to protect the source. Video: provided to The Chronicle

The San Francisco Police Department of Accountability, an independent body that investigates complaints against police officers and others, has opened an investigation into the incident, said Matt Dorsey, a spokesperson for the police department.

In the footage, three patrol cars arrive as the scene unfolds around 4:30 a.m. on November 16. A car shines its spotlight on the apparently fleeing vehicle, but the police fail to engage the suspects and let the car go.

Company owner Tariq Mizyed Alazraie said he suffered more than five break-ins in the store, and the police “always responded, but never acted.”

“This one really pissed me off,” he said. “It was one car, it was three people, they had no weapons. But to the observer, if you looked at what was going on, you would think the police were in it. It was just weird. , it made you angry when you look at this. “

Tariq Mizyed Alazraie’s daughter Anisa, who reviewed the store’s security footage the next morning, shared her father’s frustration. The agents “don’t do anything, they just watch,” said Anisa Alazraie, president of the Divisadero Merchants Association and former intern with the San Francisco district attorney’s office.

The dispensary was closed when the incident occurred. Tariq Mizyed Alazraie said a neighbor called at 4:32 am and told him people were breaking into his store with masses. He called 911 a minute later. Police said the 911 call came from a neighbor who woke up to hearing alarms sounding in the building. She called the police and said two or three people were inside the building removing bags of goods and putting them in a gray car parked outside, police said.

Anisa Alazraie said the footage showed that one person was inside the dispensary when the first patrol car pulled up, while two other suspects were in the gray sedan parked in front of the building.

The patrol car shone its exterior spotlights “almost in (…) gray Mercedes-Benz.”

The two suspects in the car wait for the third to leave the company with a large bag, the video shows.

Anisa Alazraie said police made no progress as the third person rushed into a car where the seats appeared to be already full. The car then made a three-point turn while fleeing.

“This car is nose to nose with the police at this point,” said Anisa Alazraie. “They are less than 100 meters from each other. So the police are there. They had every chance to intervene and prevent this crime from happening, to catch these people. It almost seems like they chose not to.

After the suspects walk away, “literally within moments”, the police enter the company, said Anisa Alazraie.

“Like taking a walk,” said Anisa Alazraie. “As if that couldn’t be the world’s concern. They just have to go there and report because they’ve been called.

Dorsey said the agency had been “made aware of the video and our department contacted the burglary victim during the incident to facilitate a complaint to the Police Department of Accountability.” This is now an open DPA investigation and personnel issue, and for these reasons we must decline to comment further at this time. “

In an initial incident report for store burglary and break-in, police said they answered a 911 call at 4:33 a.m. and observed a driver parked outside the dispensary and a male suspect leaping over the door metal inlet on the front passenger side of the vehicle.

“As I got into the vehicle, I observed (the suspect) drop several glass containers filled with cannabis products,” said the report filed by Constable Kamakana Alvaro.

Police then saw a third suspect leave the building and jump over the metal door “carrying a full black plastic bag”. Police said the third suspect was in the back seat, but video appears to show the suspect sitting in the driver’s seat.

“Once we got closer to the vehicle, (the) unknown driver backed up briefly,” the report said. “The vehicle then quickly turned around” and escaped “at high speed”.

“Due to the position of our vehicle and the erratic driving behavior of the suspects, we were unable to safely attempt a criminal traffic check,” the report said.

He noted that the Mercedes-Benz license plate was from a 2004 Toyota. Both license plates were stolen, according to the report.

Police believe the suspects used a crowbar, which officers found at the scene, to break into the store. Then they broke into the doors to obtain cannabis products, according to the report. Scene investigators found fingerprints on five bags of marijuana.

During a visit after the break-in, the business owner estimated the damage to his store at around $ 5,000, although he was unable to calculate the value of the stolen cannabis, according to the report.

The owner informed officers that “his store has been robbed on several occasions and he is frustrated with the lack of prosecution of the suspects,” the report said.

Rachel Marshall, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said no cases of theft at the dispensary had been presented to be considered for prosecution.

“Based on your request, we have conducted research and learned that SFPD has received numerous burglary reports from this address over the past two years; we have no record of any such cases ever presented to our office for prosecution, ”she said.

Rachel Swan is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @rachelswan

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