Arrests made in SF auto burglaries, armed robberies targeting New York filmmaker, others

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ByDion Lim via KGO logo
Friday, December 3, 2021
Arrests made in SF auto burglaries targeting NY filmmaker, others
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SF police have made felony arrests for five people in connection to an auto burglary and armed robbery which targeted a filmmaker, among others.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco police have made felony arrests for five people in connection to an auto burglary and armed robbery operation which targeted a documentary filmmaker, among others.

Documentary filmmaker Frank, who doesn't want to use his last name, is from New York.

He was in town shooting a project in San Francisco in the the past week when his car was broken into while picking up dinner in Japantown. Stunning video taken by a passerby shows one of the suspects breaking and climbing into the driver's side window and grabbing a backpack, and what Frank describes as around $6,000 in gear.

SFPD spoke exclusively to ABC7's Dion Lim about what they're calling the "Black Friday Auto Burglary and Robbery Abatement Operation" which resulted in the five felony arrests, three seized firearms including two ghost guns and evidence connecting the suspects to more than half-a-dozen auto burglaries.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: NY documentary filmmaker's gear stolen in smash-and-grab robbery in SF's Japantown

Officer Adam Lobsinger, described how on Friday, November 26, officers were patrolling Fulton and Lyon Streets as part of the operation.

They noticed a white sedan casing multiple vehicles. Two suspects tried to run from the scene but SFPD gave chase and arrested Donnell Lee Mark, 28, of Vallejo and a 15-year-old from San Francisco.

Both were arrested for a number of charges.

RELATED: $30K a month for guards: Businesses beef-up security across the Bay Area amid robberies

Mark's included transportation of a machine gun, a parole violation and second degree burglary. The juvenile was booked on charges including possession of an assault weapon.

Later in the evening, officers also arrested three suspects in the area of Bay and Kearny Streets. The vehicle was identified as the same one used in a number of auto-burglaries and at least one armed-robbery.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Video shows dozens of thieves ransacking Oakland shop, stealing $100,000 in merchandise

Using spike strips, the suspect's vehicle tires were punctures and SFPD were able to arrest Elijah Ifopo, 23, from San Francisco, Ajay Balaoro, 24, of San Francisco and Caleb Tuimavave, 21, of Daly City.

Ifopo was booked on charges including being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a loaded firearm in public. Tuimavave was booked on charges that include felony hit and run and second-degree burglary. Balaoro was booked on numerous charges including second-degree burglary and being in possession of a large capacity magazine.

Frank was elated to hear about the arrests.