old-cell-phone.jpgPolice this afternoon are still investigating an apparent robbery spree in San Francisco earlier today that led to a pursuit in the city’s Noe Valley neighborhood where an officer shot at a suspect, a police spokesman said.

Officers initially responded around 6:30 a.m. to a report that a woman had her iPhone stolen at gunpoint in the 200 block of Minerva Street in the city’s Oceanview neighborhood.

Police used an app on the smartphone to track it, first to the Balboa Park BART station and then to the area of 28th and Church streets, police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi said.

An officer spotted two men who matched the description of suspects from the robbery and pursued them near St. Paul’s Catholic Church on Valley Street, police Chief Greg Suhr said.

A suspect jumped over a small wall near the church, then moved quickly toward the officer with his hands in the middle of his torso, prompting the officer to fire a single shot, which did not strike the suspect, Suhr said.

One of the suspects was arrested following the pursuit while the other one got away, according to Suhr. The female officer who fired the gun twisted her ankle during the pursuit but was not seriously injured, he said.

About 20 minutes later, the iPhone app led police to Seventh Avenue, where one person was found driving a car and another was in the vehicle’s trunk, Suhr said.

Police found the phone, as well as two replica handguns, property from a robbery that occurred in the city earlier today, as well as multiple other cellphones, Manfredi said.

The pair were detained, as were two more people found at the house to which the car was registered.

Manfredi said the two people in the car, whose names have not been released, will be arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and the investigation was still ongoing this afternoon to determine whether the other three suspects will be charged.

The incident near St. Paul’s Catholic Church briefly caused a lockdown of the church as well as St. Paul’s Elementary School, but the church and campus were cleared by 9 a.m.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • Desmond Crisis

    These robberies will continue for as long as the carriers continue to reactivate stolen phones. I enjoy rooting and flashing my own phone and I was trying to find out how they reflash a cold serial number into the iPhone handsets, but it turns out that they don’t need to. I was surprised to learn that when the thief walks in to the store with your stolen iphone, they can usually walk out with it activated on their account even after the phone has been reported stolen. The phone company gets to start a new activation, then turn around and sell you a new phone at full price wince you’re still on contract. This is why they are being sued.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/04/12/iphone-users-sue-att-for-aiding-and-abetting-smartphone-thieves/

  • Desmond Crisis

    These robberies will continue for as long as the carriers continue to reactivate stolen phones. I enjoy rooting and flashing my own phone and I was trying to find out how they reflash a cold serial number into the iPhone handsets, but it turns out that they don’t need to. I was surprised to learn that when the thief walks in to the store with your stolen iphone, they can usually walk out with it activated on their account even after the phone has been reported stolen. The phone company gets to start a new activation, then turn around and sell you a new phone at full price wince you’re still on contract. This is why they are being sued.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/04/12/iphone-users-sue-att-for-aiding-and-abetting-smartphone-thieves/