Crime Blotter: Stonestown police activity

On Nov. 2, the San Francisco Police Department responded to a 911 call from security personnel at the Stonestown Galleria about a man with a firearm.

The man in question reportedly attempted to use counterfeit bills at a gaming store, according to Sgt. Michael Andraychak from the SFPD Media Relations Unit. 

That gaming store was the GameStop on the northern end of the mall’s second floor — an employee of the GameStop acknowledged the incident but declined to comment. 

A mall employee witnessed the following events and agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, to avoid potential consequences from their employer. This person will be referred to as the employee with gender-neutral pronouns to protect their identity. 

The employee walked out from the back room of their store and saw that their coworker had closed the large gate at the store’s entrance. This is typically only done as they close the store at 9 p.m. but at the time it was only about 7:30 p.m. 

The employee questioned their co-worker, who informed them that a man sat on a bench nearby with a gun visibly sticking out of his waistband. This bench is located less than 100 feet from the GameStop, where the man in question reportedly tried to use counterfeit money.  

After the employee approached the store entrance to confirm any potential threat, they and their coworker began moving all customers to the store’s rear. 

Mall security personnel tried to tackle the man near the bench and he reportedly dropped the gun in the struggle that ensued. He fled from the security guards, who then called 911 and reported a man with a gun. 

Responding SFPD officers found the man in question in the rear parking lot near Winston Drive. The officers searched him and found meth, but not a firearm. 

Because no gun was found, officers issued the man a citation for the counterfeit money and meth, then let him go. 

The security guards involved believed that somebody recovered the weapon during the struggle, according to Andraychak. 

The employee’s co-worker said that they saw a woman and child with the allegedly armed man. The Citizen app, which pulls information from chatter on police scanners, corroborates this information. 

After the incident, the employee reportedly called mall security to find out if it was safe to come out, but when they inquired, security officers didn’t divulge any details, only saying the incident was taken care of and that they could resume work. 

Stonestown security personnel declined a request for comment. 

Darren Iverson, the Senior General Manager of Stonestown Galleria, claimed the call made by mall security to SFPD was a false alarm and that there actually was no gun.