Inside (and in site) the mind of a former heroin addict and gang member… What are these muggers M.O. and motivation?

Not a gang… just a group….

I am sure that you (San Francisco) have heard about the rash of muggings going on in Bernal Heights.  We held our first Bernal Safety neighborhood meeting tonight at Bernal Community Center to get together and exchange information and discuss ideas to help us all stay safe.  The meeting was filled with a lot of information and ideas/suggestions most of which i am sure will be well outlined on http://www.bernalwood.wordpress.com by morning (if not, i will write a post in the morning with the update, because tonight, i want to give you this inside scoop).

After the meeting, i went home and got a call from a friend.  We began talking about what was going on and i gave him the basic low down.  This friend of mine did not used to be the way he is today and he tells me matter of fact that i would NOT have liked him at ALL if i would have met him back then.  Not many people did.

Back then, my friend was a bad heroin addict and was a legitimate gang member.  He had a bad habit and was not unfamiliar with violence and crime.  This is some of the things he says he feels about these perps.  Mind you, these are just his insights and opinions not the iron truth about the perpetrators.  However knowing him, he is probably pretty close to right on target….  Let the information begin….

  • The first thing that he told me was that they are probably taking the money to flip it to buy drugs to flip that to make bigger money.  Most likely there is a drug connection.
  • He is really insistant on this one… they are most likely NOT affiliated with a gang.  In the gangs, blacks and hispanics do not inter-mingle.  In fact, there is a lot of bad blood between the two races in the gangs. So he thinks that they are NOT gang affiliated but just 3 guys that most likely are….
  • Living here and are probably NATIVE San Francisco-ers.  They know this city and the neighborhood too well.  The nooks and crannies.  That tells that they have spent a lot of years tooling around the city streets and feel right at home here on main OR small streets.
  • They probably live near Bernal… possibly in the lower lying lands.  Most likely in a rougher neighborhood where illegal activity and violence are an every day thing for them to see since they were small.  This is their world and their lifestyle.  Crime is what pays when getting a job out there is virtually impossible (especially if you dropped out of high school or come from an impoverished neighborhood that does not show opportunities to its youth the way wealthy and affluent neighborhoods seem to.. (and even those neighborhoods kids are having a hard time not to mention the adults).
  • He said that he really doubts that they want to shoot and kill anyone.  They dont want to increase the incarceration time involved with a murder if caught.  The violence or threat of violence does enough.  They still accomplish their goal.  If they wanted to kill somebody they would have by now.   I questioned this since they most likely are the same ones that shot the guy in the hand at 30th and mission last week and pistol whipped a victim.  But he remains very insistant on this not being the case.  He says not because they have feelings about taking a life but because the consequences involved if caught.  (that makes more sense).
  • My friend said that his options to come up if he was dope sick and needed drugs was either to steal it or to sell his body.  He chose the first but he said

    “I did what i needed to do when i was dope sick on heroine.  Robbing people was an easy way for me to do that. “

  • They are probably living in a very poor native neighborhood where crime is an every day happening.  It is a way of life.  Poverty and drug abuse and violence is a way of life.  They are probably living in or near the projects and most likely have an (at least one) abusive parent(s). 

There you have it folks.  From the mouth of someone who (seriously regrets his actions as a youth) has lived it first hand.

It is also something to think about… People can change.  People can make better lives and choices for themselves.  People are often just a product of their environment and until we have walked a day in someone else’s shoes, we really could not know what it is like to have to live their life.  Anyone can make a change for the better in their lives.  I personally know someone who managed the impossible and did so. He corrects me and says he is still IN the process of DOING so.

I say… good for him!

By the way.  I am so glad that i still live in a true old school mentality of neighborhoods.  It feels like it used to.  I love the fact that we are all working together.  Strength in numbers and knowledge is power.  You are AWESOME BERNAL!!

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