San Francisco Police Arrest, "Back Door" Burglar

In April of 2016, San Francisco Police Investigators at Richmond Station began tracking commercial burglaries in which the suspect forced entry to businesses via the properties’ back doors.Investigators identified similarities in “M.O” or modus operandi, of the suspect to burglaries in the Clement Street, Balboa Street and Geary Boulevard areas of the City’s Richmond District between mid-April and mid-June of this year. In these burglaries, the suspect entered properties via: tradesman entrances, parallel streets, jumping fences and then forced entry to the businesses where he stole cash.

Investigators from the Richmond Station Investigation Team (SIT) where able to utilize surveillance video from the scene of several burglaries to help determine the identity of the suspect. The first burglary occurred in a shop on the 2100 block of Clement Street on April 29th at 10:21PM. In this case the suspect destroyed two video cameras before making off with U.S. Currency. In the second burglary, which occurred at a restaurant on the 3300 block of Balboa Street on May 1st at approximately 9:10PM, and the third burglary from the 200 block of Clement Street on May 6th at 8:41PM, the suspect also made off with cash.

A crime bulletin bearing a photo of the suspect was issued and information consisting of a name of the suspect was developed. It was determined that the suspect has prior arrests for burglary and is on felony probation for an elder abuse offense. Investigators developed probable cause to arrest and took the suspect into custody at his residence on the unit block of Essex Street in San Francisco on June 5th at approximately 12 Noon.

Gary Lee Smith, male, 52 of San Francisco was booked into SF County Jail three counts of 2nd degree burglary, all felonies. Gary Lee Smith may be responsible for many more commercial burglaries of the same nature throughout the city. Due to pending identification matters a booking photo will not be released at this time. While an arrest has been made, this remains an active and open investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Richmond Station Investigation Team at (415) 666-8000, the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444, or Text A Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.

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