Over the past few months, I've provided selections twice a week from the South San Francisco police blotter releases for Patch, highlighting what I considered to be the most pertinent, interesting and relevant information to South City readers. In combing through these long, detailed chronicles of every 911 call made on a given day, I have gotten an insider's glimpse into what our officers deal with on a daily basis. Many items are standard things like parking violations; a few are horrific and sometimes heartbreaking.
And then there are those crimes that just make you stop, scratch your head and wonder, "What were these people thinking?" It is these bizarre crimes and occurrences that come to the attention of 911 operators that provide an almost welcome comedic break from the otherwise tragic and infuriating realm of lawbreaking. Almost.
Here are my picks for the top ten strangest happenings reported to the SSFPD in the latter half of 2010:
10. Thursday, Nov. 18
2:54pm Employees at 7-Eleven on Callan Boulevard called police saying that a boy who looked to be about ten years old stole candy from the store but left his backpack inside.
9. Wednesday, Nov. 17
2:11pm Callers reported that a shirtless man was directing traffic at the intersection of Miller and Orange Avenues.
8. Saturday, Oct. 2
11:59am On Williamsburg Court, a resident reported that her neighbor was running in and out of her house, continually throwing buckets of water on the reporting person's lawn.
7. Wednesday, Dec. 1
10:04pm Police were called to Public Storage on Spruce Avenue to assist a tenant who had gotten locked inside a storage unit.
6. Tuesday, Nov. 16
5:12pm A woman on Hemlock Avenue called police to report that unknown subjects had gone into her backyard and left a "bad body odor smell."
5. Friday, Nov. 5
12:13am Police responded to a call from Motel 6 on Mitchell Avenue that a guest was drunk and naked in the hotel lobby.
4. Sunday, Nov. 28
12:34pm On Marcie Circle, a resident called police to report that her 70-year-old in-laws were refusing to leave.
3. Thursday, Dec. 16
12:28am A man on Rowntree Way called police saying that he wanted to give his side of the story after a neighbor had accused him of throwing an egg at his car.
2. Sunday, Nov. 28
4:37pm A resident on Ferndale Avenue contacted police with suspicions that his neighbor stole a cement bear figurine that belonged to him. The figurine had been stolen from the man's front porch months ago, and the man had recently spotted it on his neighbor's porch. The caller said he had had problems with the neighbor before.
And finally my pick for weirdest crime of 2010…
1. Friday, Oct. 15
5:03pm On Zamora Drive, a resident called police after an unknown man reportedly walked into her house, used the bathroom and then left.
I guess we can take away from this list that when you gotta go, you gotta go, and that if you are going to steal from your neighbor, make sure you don't display the stolen goods in plain sight.
Here's to a safe and, hopefully, slightly less strange New Year!