Avoid ATM Card Fraud


ATM Card Safety

A compromised Debit (ATM) card allows a crook to steal hundreds of dollars from your bank account. It is even possible to drain your account to zero. Notify your bank and file a police report if you are a victim. Banks generally deny being vulnerable, so contact Castro Patrol (info@castropatrol.org) with details if you encounter an unsecure ATM in the Castro so we can work with the bank and civil authorities.

An electronic device may be placed over a legitimate terminal, such a gas pump, point of sale (POS) terminal in a store, or ATM to capture the data from the magnetic strip on the back. “Chip” transactions cannot be skimmed but some merchants have not yet moved to chip terminals. Contactless payments (ApplePay, Samsung Pay, etc.) are the most secure.

Some waiters or bartenders use small skimmers to copy the card when they turn their back or take your card away from your table. Credit cards are safer as fraud does not hit your bank account directly and it is often faster to reverse fraudulent transactions once you notify the bank.

To protect yourself:

  • Check for extra devices at the card slot on a gas pump or ATM
  • Use the “chip” not the mag strip when paying at a store
  • Always use a CREDIT card not your ATM card in restaurants or bars
  • Check your statement every month and notify the bank of any fraudulent transactions

Shoulder Surfing
Some ATMs ask, “Would you like another transaction?” at the end of your session and requires the PIN (Personal Identification Number) but not the card for more transactions. A crook near the ATM observed you entering your PIN and then uses it to retrieve cash if you don’t close out the transaction with a “NO” response.

To protect yourself:

  • Look around for someone watching your actions before using the ATM
  • Shield the keypad when entering your PIN
  • Read the screen to confirm the transaction closes, and answer “NO” to any additional transactions
  • Check your statement every month and notify the bank of any fraudulent transactions
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David Diaz Released from Jail

David Munoz Diaz has been released from SF County Jail following his 3rd conviction for various violent crimes. Please note that his probation includes a midnight curfew, so call 911 if you see him in public after that hour.

Details in Bay Area Reporter article: Article

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Community Patrol Service 2016 Castro / Duboce Triangle Crime Activity Report Posted

Our close partner, Community Patrol Service USA, just posted their final Crime Activity Report for December 2016, which also includes a table of all “calls to police for service” throughout the year.  You can find the report on our web site under the CRIME STATS tab.   Simply navigate to the Community Patrol Service – Crime Activity Reports section and select the 2016 Castro & Duboce Triangle Crime Activity Reports hyper link, or any of the prior years you may wish to view.

The report is graphically presented on a monthly basis from the Crime Mapping System data and provides a general guide to crime types and locations within a 1/2 mile radius of 2300 Market Street.  While it is a good guide, it does not include ALL incidents as they may not have made it into the Crime Mapping System before the reports were generated, or calls for service may actually not result in any action required by police.

Still, the reports help to show the level of calls to police, and the nature of those calls within a very small segment of the overall Mission Station and Park Station police divisions on a monthly basis.

We would certainly recommend that everyone review the weekly Captains newsletter produced by Captain Perea on the Mission Station web site, and sign up for the Park Station newsletter produced by Captain Sanford to help you stay up to date with what is happening is each Police district.

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Last Chance For Jan. 21 Training


Have you considered becoming a Castro Patrol Volunteer? We still have 3 seats available for the new-volunteer training to be held from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, January 21. Patrols consist of 3 or 4 trained Patrollers, for safety. You are only asked to be part of one 3-hour patrol per month, so it’s a very low commitment of time to help keep the Castro safe. Use this link to reserve your seat:  Eventbrite

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Community Safety Meeting, Monday, Jan. 9


The inauguration of President Elect, Donald Trump creates community concerns about possible hate-inspired incidents. A Town Hall Meeting the evening of Monday, January 9 allows the community to meet with Law Enforcement and Community Safety leaders to ask questions, raise concerns, provide ideas, and obtain information about resources and support. The meeting runs from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Eureka Valley Rec Center (EVRC), 100 Collingwood Street.

As space at EVRC is limited to 100 people, please use this link to reserve a seat: Eventbrite Reservation

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Rainbow Crosswalks Damaged


Hoodline reports that vandals on motorized “dirt bikes” intentionally damaged the rainbow crosswalks at 18th and Castro Streets on December 11: ARTICLE

Groups of bikers have terrorized various neighborhoods for month, popping “wheelies,” ignoring traffic rules and often riding on sidewalks or the wrong way in traffic. The cops are frustrated because, as the article articulates, San Francisco rules prohibit “hot pursuits” (except in the case of felonies such as homicide or robberies) and the bikers often ride without license plates, making identification difficult. They usually ride without helmets, so if you catch a photo with an exposed face, get it to SFPD non-emergency: 415-553-0123. Or you can contact Castro Patrol at info@castropatrol.org for our assistance.

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Consider Year-End Donation


Your tax-deductible donation helps Castro Patrol continue to protect the community. While our dedicated volunteers donate all of our time, we have expenses. Supplying safety whistles is our most costly project. Whistles have helped protect people for 40 years, since Harvey Milk lived in the Castro. CCOP has distributed over 90,000 whistles, yet currently find ourself with only a few hundred left and many people who need one.

To donate with a credit/debit card:

  • Click this link: DONATE
  • Select “Other” in the drop-down box under “Program”
  • Enter “CCOP” into the box so our fiscal sponsor routes your donation correctly.

If you prefer to send a check:

  • Make it out to “SF-SAFE” (our fiscal sponsor)
  • Enter “CCOP” into the memo line.
  • Mail it to:

Room 135
850 Bryant Street
San Francisco CA 94103

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18th & Diamond Stabbing Is Suspected To Be A Suicide

Community concerns were heightened following the discovery of a man, fatally stabbed,  outside the U.S. Post Office location at 18th Street and Diamond Street within the Castro District of San Francisco.  Initially speculation suggested the man may have been assaulted but San Francisco Police Department Captain Daniel Perea, who commands the Mission District Police Station in which the incident took place, spoke with reporters recently to advise that they are currently believe the victim took his own life.

There were no signs of struggle or other injuries on the victim, and a suicide note was apparently found among the victims possessions.

The Bay Area Reporter has some more details: http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=72173 

The holidays can be a particularly tough time of year for many people, and suicide rates tend to rise as a result.  San Francisco has a number of services to assist those considering suicide, or who are experiencing grief as the result of another taking their own life:


San Francisco Suicide Prevention 24 Hour Hot-Line:  800-989-5212  or 415-781-0500

California Suicide Support Groups: www.suicide.org

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  800-273-8255

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Register Your Bikes


The “Safe Bikes” program run by SF-SAFE (the same people who sponsor Neighborhood Watch) has helped return hundreds of stolen bikes to their rightful owners. It’s FREE, secure, and only takes a few minutes to register your bicycles in the database. Safe Bikes

The chances of getting your un-registered bike back is pretty close to zero unless you buy it back at one of the auctions the police hold each year to sell un-claimed bikes.

In addition, the police cannot do much about the bike “chop-shops” without evidence that the people running these operations are in possession of stolen property.

[The only serial number on a bike is located on the bottom of the frame under the pedal mechanism.]

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CCOP New Patrol Volunteer Training Class – Register Now For 01/21/2016 @ 1 PM

Patrolling is one of our principal core activities and is one of our most important visibility tasks within the neighborhood. Trained volunteers patrol in teams of three or more, walking in our brightly colored orange safety vests throughout the neighborhood. They act as the “eyes and ears” of the neighborhood, providing safety information, distributing FREE safety whistles, checking in with merchants and chatting with visitors, and if needed calling on professional emergency responders as necessary. Patrollers DON’T make arrests or get involved physically with trouble-makers. We call in the professionals to handle such things.


2014-07 Patrol Photo with Chief Carey - DChf Craig - DPtlr. Hill_0370

Patrolling is fun, productive, and worth-while for everyone. We ask our Patrol Volunteers to commit to a minimum of one 3 hour patrol each month or 12 patrols per year. You can select which nights work best for you, and you can even arrange to go out on patrol with friends, family, or loved ones if they are also qualified patrol members.

Patrol Volunteer training is a combination of a written training manual which candidates must read, followed by a 3 hour practical certification class which was developed in cooperation with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), San Francisco Safety Awareness For Everyone (www.SFSAFE.org) and officers of the Community Patrol Service USA (CPS-USA) organization. After successful completion of the written and practical training, newly designated Trainee Patrollers must complete four supervised patrols with supervisory Patrollers in order to advance to full Patroller status.

Minimum requirements for CCOP Patrol Volunteers are:

  1. You must live, work or regularly visit San Francisco, California in order to become a Patrol volunteer with us.
  2. You must be 18 years of age or older (no upper limit applies)
  3. You must be able to comply with our CCOP Volunteer Code of Conduct & Ethical Principles Policy
  4. You may not have been convicted of a Felony, or a violence or theft related misdemeanor.
  5. You must be able to walk continuously for up to 3 hours. You must be able to hold a cell phone, radio, and flashlight
  6. You must have a good enough command of English in order to communicate with emergency dispatchers, emergency responders and members of the public

If you meet these minimum requirements, please sign up for our next training class on Saturday January 21 from 1 PM to 4 PM in the heart of the Castro Neighborhood.


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