The Ingleside Light is a reader-funded community news outlet. If you find the journalism here useful, please consider subscribing.
Taraval Station investigators identified 43-year-old Steven Gaffney of San Francisco as the suspect responsible for a series of window smash vandalisms and burglaries in the Taraval, Ingleside, Mission and Central police districts, the San Francisco Police Department announced June 24 via a press release.
Gaffney was booked at the San Francisco County Jail on three counts of burglary, thirteen counts of felony vandalism, three counts of possession of burglary tools, one count of committing a felony while armed with a deadly weapon, and a probation violation.
Gaffney, who is on probation in San Francisco for a prior vandalism incident, is believed to have caused damage to businesses amounting to over $35,000.
“I am grateful to the Taraval Station officers and investigation team for their hard work and diligence. As our City recovers from this terrible pandemic, we must support our small businesses and protect the community from violence,” said District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work with the department to ensure safety and collaboration to maintain the public order and support the conditions for our neighborhoods to thrive. I am appreciative of the good work of our beat officers and their community policing approach that rely on their relationships and knowledge of people and businesses here.”
The investigation remains open. Police request that anyone with information call (415) 575-4444 or text TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.
Last week, a vandal used a slingshot to break the windows of storefronts on the 1900 block twice in one week. On Tuesday evening, Taraval Station police arrested the suspect.
The windows of Serge-A-Lot and Nails by Lisa were shattered on both Monday and Wednesday while Monza Pizzeria had its windows broken on Wednesday, but has had six other incidents of windows being shattered in the past two years.
The small business owners filed police reports and shared security footage on social media, with television news and law enforcement, causing awareness of the incidents to spread.
On Tuesday, June 22, the suspect, who is on probation, was booked into county jail and the case has been referred to the Office of the District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
“The investigation continues and more cases throughout the city are pending,” Capt. Nicholas Rainsford wrote in the June 23 edition of the Taraval Station email newsletter.
Taraval Station has increased patrols in Ingleside in response to the crime uptick, and the captain urges all small business owners to file police reports when their property is damaged.
The Ingleside Merchants Association, which the Ingleside Light belongs as a founding member, set up an online fundraiser for the merchants with encouragement from the Office of District Supervisor Myrna Melgar.