Foot patrol officers nab shooting suspects

San Francisco police say two arrests in a shooting and in a separate armed robbery on Market Street last week are evidence that a shift toward increased foot patrols is already paying off.

The police department last month announced an increase in the number of foot and bicycle patrols citywide, with a concentration in higher crime neighborhoods, to combat an increase in property crimes including auto burglaries. The patrols are intended to provide a “visible deterrent” that will help prevent such crimes, which are difficult to investigate and prosecute after the fact.

However department officials today pointed to arrests in a shooting and in an armed robbery on Market Street as evidence that the increased patrols might pay off in other areas as well.

In the first incident, foot patrol officers saw a suspect shooting a handgun in the 1000 block of Market Street near Sixth Street around 2:56 p.m. on Sept. 14, police said.

The officers ordered the suspect to drop the weapon and detained several people. During the investigation, they determined that several shots had been fired during what appeared to have been a dispute over marijuana.

No injuries were reported, but police arrested San Jose resident Joseph Lankford, 23, and Oakland resident Karlton Randle, 35. Lankford faces charges including attempted murder while Randle was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery and conspiracy.

In the second incident on Sept. 15, foot patrol officers in the 800 block of Market Street responded to a report of theft suspects armed with a handgun in a department store around 11:44 a.m.

The caller told police that the same suspects had robbed the store at gunpoint the previous Friday and one had also committed a robbery in August.

Officers arriving at the scene detained suspects after a foot pursuit and recovered a gun one of them had allegedly thrown away.

Police arrested Oakland residents Keymari Davis, 20, and Britney Gibson, 21, on felony charges including robbery and conspiracy.

Police said the increase in beat officers will be accompanied by a “more robust approach to identifying criminal activity,” including “constant evaluation of timely and accurate, data-drive information” to help district captains decide where they can best be deployed.

Members of the public with concerns about particular areas are encouraged to contact their district station captain or attend monthly community meetings, police said.

Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call (415) 575- 4444 or text a tip to TIP411 with “SFPD at the start of the message. Tips can be made anonymously.