Telegraph Hill Burglary Suspect Slides Down Cliff, Walks Away
|Suspected cat burglar gets away|
At about 10 p.m., a few hours after police ended the standoff, a neighbor heard noises coming from the hillside area and saw the man sliding down the hill toward an opening in a fence, police said. The neighbor, who was well aware of the elusive suspect on the hill throughout the day, saw the man peer through the fence, then walk away.
The neighbor called police, who searched for the man, but were unable to find anyone.
"He is now outstanding and no longer on the hillside as far as we know," said Sgt. Daryl Fong.
The suspect, who has only been described as a 5-foot-7,170-pound white man in his 20s or 30s, had been hiding in the thick vegetation along the hill since Tuesday evening after he was spotted stealing a ring from an apartment on Kearny and Lombard streets. The building manager chased the burglar, who hopped over a back wall leading to a cliff above Chestnut Street.
He stayed hiding in the dense brush, which police said was about 8 to 10 feet thick, for more than 24 hours, waiting out cops who were stationed at the bottom of the hill, trying to talk the suspect down.
Police had a few conversations with him, asking the man if he needed anything, and even tried to coax him down from the dangerous drop. The man, who police have not confirmed is even the suspect in the burglary, kept telling police to leave him alone and go away. He even demanded they turn off the bright flood lights.
But police remained on the scene until about 7 p.m., when they decided that sticking around was more trouble than it was worth. "Given the nature of the incident, SFPD has determined that attempts to apprehend this person could potentially place him and public safety officials at risk of injury," police said last night in a statement.
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