A bumbling cat burglar managed to get himself trapped, and surrounded by cops, while trying to escape down a brush-covered cliff on the eastern face of Telegraph Hill last evening. The drop is about eight to ten stories, and the SFPD decided just to wait out the dude, who remained on a ledge hidden among the brush into the wee hours refusing assistance.
This all started around 6 p.m. when some undercover officers spotted a man running out of a building near Coit Tower with two backpacks. He saw the cops, ran away, and jumped a railing near Lombard and Kearny Streets. That's when he became stuck on the cliff, near Chestnut Street. The fire department had a ladder truck hovering near the cliff and cops repeatedly stood there with a bull horn (and an automatic rifle) asking if the guy was OK and telling him to come out. He refused, but using heat sensors police maintained a good idea of where he was. He claimed not to be injured when they contacted him via bullhorn.
The suspect is believed to have been responsible for a series of condo robberies in the area. As of this morning, the standoff continues.
We imagine it was a pretty miserable night for this dude! Berating himself for his own stupidity, and stubbornly believing that if he sat there long enough he could maybe, somehow, escape. We'll update you as we hear more.
Update 11 a.m.: Suspect still stuck in the bushes. "You don't really know that the brush is pretty thick there, and it's a sheer cliff coming down on several sides of that hill. We're not going to risk someone's life to go in after a burglary suspect right now.," police Sgt. Pat Tobin explains to The Chronicle.
12:10 p.m.: SF Weekly reports, "The suspect -- described by cops as a 5-foot-7, 170-pound white man in his 20s or 30s -- says he doesn't want any help, and would like police to leave. "
2:30 p.m.: Burglar still stuck on hill, refuses to talk to authorities. As far as his comfort level, SF Examiner had this to say: "While he is stuck on a dangerously steep slope, surrounded by thorny bushes and other thick shrubbery, he is situated on a relatively roomy patch of hillside and can move around."
5:10 p.m.: Yep, he's still up there.
8:30 a.m. (Thursday): Good morning, everybody! Well, he's still up on Telegraph Hill, meaning that we're now in day 2.
10 a.m.: Say what? The alleged robber perched on a Telegraph Hill escaped at around 10 p.m. Wednesday night, soon after SFPD left the scene per the suspect's request. He is now on the lam.