We don't hear about San Francisco's chapter of the Guardian Angels too often, probably because the unarmed, beret-wearing citizen group doesn't do much other than get keys thrown at them for hassling ladies of the night and stand around 16th and Mission with only slightly more purpose than the rest of the people gathered there. In the past few weeks, however, the group has stopped two phone robberies-in-progress. In one case, they even managed to retrieve the stolen goods.
The first recent crime the Angels thwarted went down about a week and a half ago on February 22nd in the Mission. A 21-year-old man was jumped by four thugs on Mission Street between 23rd and 24th Streets. The robbers dragged and punched the man on the ground while they grabbed his smartphone, the Examiner reports, but the Angels swooped in to scare them off before they could do any further damage. According to police, the victim only suffered some bumps to the head, but his phone is still missing so it's sort of questionable whether they actually stopped any crime in this case.
Last week, however, the volunteer group with the custom t-shirts for uniforms had more success recovering a stolen iPhone in the Tenderloin. Around 7:20 p.m. a Guardian Angel patrol found a woman screaming after her phone was stolen near Market and Golden Gate Avenue. The four Angels chased down 18-year-old suspect Sondra Butler, surrounded her and let her know they would be making a citizen's arrest. Butler denied any wrong doing, but the super sleuths saw her holding the phone in her hand.
The San Francisco chapter of the nonprofit Guardian Angels only has 18 members at the moment, some of whom come from as far as San Jose to act as extra watchdogs for the actual police in the city. As we've seen in the past, when they're not stopping muggings, or being oblivious to drug deals, they can also be spotted asking old people if they have a bus pass:
Previously: All Guardian Angels coverage on SFist