sfpd_squad.jpgA burglary suspect remained hidden this evening in bushes on a cliff in San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill neighborhood during a police standoff that has reached 24 hours.

The standoff began after a home burglary was reported shortly before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 1700 block of Kearny Street near Lombard Street, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

The suspect fled and headed toward a cliff that goes down to Chestnut Street, Esparza said.

Instead of chasing the suspect over the cliff, which contains thick shrubbery and a treacherous drop to the street below, officers set up a perimeter and began waiting for him to come out, Esparza said.

Despite efforts from hostage negotiators, as well as U.S. Park police, a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew and firefighters with bright floodlights, the suspect refused to come out.

Esparza said that around 2 a.m., the suspect asked police to turn off the floodlights but the officers said no.

The suspect, described only as a white male wearing a hooded sweatshirt, remained in the bushes as of 4:45 p.m.

Police have drawn back the number of officers assigned to the standoff over the course of the day today but remained at the scene this evening.

Police did not say whether the suspect may be connected to any other crimes, but Jon Golinger, president of the neighborhood group Telegraph Hill Dwellers, said he has been told of seven or eight residential burglaries in the neighborhood in the past few months.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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