Body discovered in burning car in San Francisco

January 24, 2011 11:50:09 AM PST
San Francisco police are investigating the discovery of a body found inside a burning car in the Lower Haight neighborhood. Residents in the area heard the burning car's alarm go off around 3:30 Monday morning. It was in a side street near Webster and Haight.

Police said a woman was found dead in the car. They aren't sure how she died, but homicide investigators are involved. A picture was taken of the fire at 3:30 a.m. by a man who lives across the street.

"The flames were so large we didn't want him to get any closer because we didn't want him to hurt himself and a few minutes after that the gas tank exploded," said witness Moses Lee.

News of the woman's death and fire had residents wondering if it's safe to live in the Lower Haight.

"Holy cow that is the second murder in one week. What is going on in this neighborhood?" said Haight resident Jory Zimmerman.

On Friday a man beat another man with a shovel on Page Street. Police said the man who was being beaten then stabbed and killed his attacker. Some are wondering if there is a connection in the violence.

"I don't know if there is or isn't a connection - you never know. What is for sure is that there is an uptick in violence and we need people who take this very seriously," said Lower Haight Merchants and Neighbors Association President Thea Selby.

Selby has helped organize two neighborhood meetings, where residents talked about not feeling safe to walk on certain blocks of Webster and Page streets.

"I have a 9-year-old child and I walk him to school on this block on a daily basis, either me or my husband. So to me that is unacceptable," said Selby.

She wants to see more beat cops walking the streets. She also hopes more residents get involved.

"The people who live here - working together to keep their eyes on the street, talk to each other, work with each other and work with the police," said Selby.

Residents are also nervous because there was a violent robbery at 1400 Haight Street in December. Police said about six young men walked into a store and robbed it at gunpoint.

Police have not been able to identify the woman in the car fire.


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