Teenagers in Ski Masks Are Attacking Moms and Nannies Outside Schools in One of San Francisco’s Wealthiest Neighborhoods
Harriet Alexander, Daily Mail, July 5, 2023
A gang of teenagers in ski masks has been attacking mothers and nannies in broad daylight in one of San Francisco’s wealthiest neighborhoods, and stealing their cell phones.
The group is believed to be behind 11 thefts in one week at the end of June said Thomas Harvey, captain of the San Francisco Police Department’s Mission District police station.
The attacks are mainly in the Noe Valley area of the city, where the average house is valued at $1.7 million.
One suspect has been arrested, and police are hunting for the others, as robberies city-wide surge 11.9 percent, year on year.
Catherine Stefani, a member of the San Francisco board of supervisors, said the brazen attacks on the women were deeply troubling, and called for police to increase their patrols.
‘I am incredibly alarmed by this and think it highlights the need for increased police presence in the area, especially given what is happening in Noe Valley,’ she told The San Francisco Chronicle.
‘Ensuring the security and well-being of residents, particularly women, is top priority for me and I have asked SFPD to step up patrols in the area.’
One woman, who gave her initials as CW, told the newspaper she was on her way to pick up her daughter from daycare when she was attacked.
She said she was pushing an empty stroller when a person in a gray ski mask hopped out of a car and knocked her to the sidewalk as he snatched her phone.
‘I was shoved to the ground aggressively,’ she said.
‘While I appreciate that phones were stolen, the violence that went alongside these robberies is far more concerning.
‘This is not just a ‘phone snatch’ situation. This is a targeted, violent attack against moms and caretakers.’
Another woman, Laura, a daycare worker, said she was punched in the back of the head while waiting for a train, with her attacked grabbing her phone and jumping into a waiting car.
‘The first thing I thought was that they didn’t have to hit me, they didn’t have to be so aggressive,’ she told the paper.
‘Then the anguish of knowing that they had taken my unlocked cell phone and that I had all my credit cards tied to my Apple Pay.’
A third victim told the paper she was across the street from a cafe, talking on her phone, when a young man in a black ski mask began trailing her.
She said she ‘felt heaviness’ on her back and when she turned her head to look, the teen grabbed her hand that was holding the phone and punched her in the face, running off with her phone and leaving her in tears and shock.
Nicole Saerom, who was walking nearby, said she felt the same attacker following her but changed course, and then saw him attack the other woman.
‘I heard her scream so loudly,’ said Saerom.
‘It happened so fast. My heart was racing. I immediately felt fear, deep fear.’
‘There is a problem in San Francisco if daily muggings are becoming the new normal.’