San Francisco police arrest 'prolific burglar' allegedly tied to 18 crimes

San Francisco police announced on Wednesday the arrest of a suspect they described as a "prolific burglar," wanted in connection with a series of burglaries spanning the last five months.

The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Patrick Potter, allegedly targeted homes, businesses, and vehicles, making off with tens of thousands of dollars in stolen goods.

Among his alleged victims was the Cameron House, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting families and children in the Chinatown neighborhood. The incident took place in May, when a second-grade classroom at the nonprofit center was burglarized.

"When they're (students) told when they come back from the weekend that there are no Chromebooks for them to use because someone stole them, that just gives them a feeling that they're not safe," said Laurene Chan with the Cameron House.

Police said that Potter is linked to at least 18 burglaries that occurred between February and June.

"This case involves community centers, businesses, homes and vehicles that were ransacked and tens of thousands of dollars of cash and property taken," said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott.


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Scott emphasized the importance of catching prolific burglars who can cause significant harm to communities.

"We always try to identify serial offenders, people who do the most damage. Then try to focus our efforts on those serial offenders," said Scott.

The Cameron House had previously been burglarized before the incident in May, leading them to implement security measures, like surveillance cameras, to help protect the building.

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Video footage from their cameras, as well as those from other burglarized buildings, may be essential pieces of evidence in the ongoing investigation.

Potter was charged with a series of felonies in superior court on Tuesday.

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said the key to stopping prolific criminals is accountability.

"I felt it was necessary to assign it to our major crimes unit, which is the unit for the more serious and repeat offenders and is handled by more experienced prosecutors," said Jenkins.

Police said that their investigation into Potter is still ongoing, and they are seeking additional victims. Given that Potter was arrested in Oakland, authorities suspect there might be outstanding cases in other jurisdictions.

Potter's next court appearance is scheduled for July 25.