MEDIA RELATIONS UNIT
April 16, 2010
San Francisco Police Arrest MUNI 30-Year Career Pickpocket Suspect
San Francisco police made the latest arrest of a Muni pickpocket suspect whose career of pick pocketing on Muni lines spanned 30 years. Taken into custody on March 2, was Thomas David Wilson, 49, of San Francisco.
In an incident that occurred on March 1, on the Muni 30 Stockton line, a retired DA investigator who assists police by riding Muni in an attempt to abate Muni pick pocket incidents was on the 30 Stockton line when she recognized Wilson from past encounters. She observed Wilson move to the rear of the bus but was unable to prevent the theft of the wallet of a male victim that subsequently occurred. She followed the victim and Wilson off the bus, but Wilson escaped.
State parole agents, knowing of Wilson’s criminal history, had issued a photograph of Wilson to Central Station officers. San Francisco police, working also with video obtained from Muni and with the SFPD’s Fugitive Recovery Enforcement Team (FRET), arrested Wilson at the FRET office.
San Francisco police had arrested Wilson numerous times over the years for pick pocket thefts on Muni bus lines in the Central district. Once released from jail, he would revert to committing the thefts. He has been sentenced to one year in state prison and will be on parole until August 2012. Once released, as a condition of his parole he will not be allowed on the Muni lines he targeted.
Police caution the Muni-riding public to be vigilant of their surroundings on buses, especially when the bus or LRV is crowded. Be wary of someone standing too close or jostling, as this may be the prelude to a pick pocket attempt. Keep personal belongings secure. Women should hold on securely to purses and men should keep their wallet in their front pants pocket. Be especially cautious when wearing a backpack, keeping the zippered portion in view.
For more information, please contact the Media Relations Unit, 553-1651.
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103