San Francisco man arrested in connection with cellphone theft on Muni 

click to enlarge A suspect is accused of pulling a bus rider's shirt over his head while snatching his cellphone. - CINDY CHEW/2008 S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • cINDY cHEW/2008 s.f. eXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • A suspect is accused of pulling a bus rider's shirt over his head while snatching his cellphone.

A suspected cellphone thief who reportedly administered a popular fighting move in hockey while robbing a Muni passenger of his cellphone Wednesday could not fool technology.

Police said the stolen smartphone's tracking device led to the arrest of a suspect in a brutal attack on a Muni bus at San Bruno and Paul avenues that left a 25-year-old man unconscious.

The incident unfolded about 10:20 p.m. when the suspect, 33-year-old Brandon Jenkins of San Francisco, allegedly tried to steal a cellphone from a 25-year-old man who had just boarded the bus.

After the passenger resisted, Sgt. Dennis Toomer said, Jenkins allegedly pulled the man's shirt over his head and punched him repeatedly, knocking him out.

At one point the Muni operator tried to stop the fight, Toomer said, by saying police had been called and that the incident was being captured on surveillance cameras.

Jenkins fled with the phone, police said, and might have gotten away, but the victim's friend told police about the phone's tracking feature. Police traced the phone to a bus traveling on Fillmore Street. Officers stopped the bus at Fillmore and Bush streets and arrested Jenkins, Toomer said.

"They sent a signal [to the stolen phone] and it buzzed," Toomer said, "so the officers knew they had the right guy."

Jenkins was booked into County Jail on charges that include robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and violating parole.

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