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SFPD Backs Off Burglary Suspect On Telegraph Hill Cliff

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San Francisco emergency crews below a Telegraph Hill cliff where a burglary suspect refused to come down. (CBS)

San Francisco emergency crews below a Telegraph Hill cliff where a burglary suspect refused to come down. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco Police officers have halted their search for a burglary suspect on a Telegraph Hill cliff Wednesday, more than 24 hours after he ran from officers.

According to a statement from San Francisco Police, the department pulled back officers from the hillside Wednesday night. Officers will patrol the area throughout the night and attempt to contact the suspect.

The department determined that trying to apprehend the suspect could place him and officers at risk of injury.

The standoff began after a home burglary was reported shortly before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 1700 block of Kearny Street near Lombard Street, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

The suspect fled and headed toward a cliff that goes down to Chestnut Street, Esparza said.

Instead of chasing the suspect over the cliff, which contains thick shrubbery and a treacherous drop to the street below, officers set up a perimeter and began waiting for him to come out, Esparza said.

Despite efforts from hostage negotiators, as well as U.S. Park police, a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew and firefighters with bright floodlights, the suspect refused to come out.

Esparza said that around 2 a.m., the suspect asked police to turn off the floodlights but the officers said no.

The suspect, described only as a white male wearing a hooded sweatshirt, remained in the bushes as of 4:45 p.m.

Police did not say whether the suspect may be connected to any other crimes, but Jon Golinger, president of the neighborhood group Telegraph Hill Dwellers, said he has been told of seven or eight residential burglaries in the neighborhood in the past few months.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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