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James Durgin of ‘Saving San Francisco' wanted by local and federal officers, again

James Durgin, whose sordid and lengthy criminal history was chronicled in the NBC Bay Area series ‘Saving San Francisco,’ is, once again, a wanted man – sought after by both local and federal law enforcement agencies.

On Thursday, Durgin failed to show up to his federal hearing that stemmed from a recent vandalism charge.  As a result, the U.S. Attorney’s Office formally requested the court issue a warrant for Durgin’s arrest. While it’s unclear when the federal warrant will officially go into effect, local authorities in San Francisco requested their own arrest warrant for Durgin earlier this week.

Durgin violated probation just two days after his release from jail

After serving roughly three months inside San Francisco County jail for an unrelated crime, Durgin was released on Saturday and ordered to live at a transitional housing facility, where he was supposed to be assessed for services relating to his ongoing mental health and addiction issues.  However, just two days after checking in, Durgin walked out – a violation of his probation.  A warrant for his arrest was then issued on Wednesday at the request of San Francisco’s Adult Probation Department.

Durgin, who by his own admission has been arrested more than 100 times in San Francisco, has garnered repeated probation violations over the past two decades that include failing to report to his probation officer, deactivating his ankle monitor, and abandoning court-mandated rehab — sometimes within just hours of checking in. Durgin has also been convicted of a range of crimes, including those involving drug use and violence.

Federal prosecutors accuse Durgin of defacing homes with cryptic messages

Since Durgin failed to make his whereabouts known to his local probation officer earlier this week, it was unlikely he would appear Thursday at his federal hearing to answer for his recent federal vandalism charge. Prosecutors accuse Durgin of writing cryptic phrases on the front doors of homes in San Francisco’s Presidio neighborhood last November.  The messages, which included “she’s mine” and “she’s my love,” were left in black marker on several front doors inside the Baker Beach apartment complex. Those who live in the area, however, believe the graffiti was directed towards one of their neighbors, Ann Rea.

Rea, who has had active restraining orders against Durgin since 2017, said she didn’t know who Durgin was until she caught him trying to break into her home.  Since then, Durgin has been repeatedly caught on surveillance video violating Rea’s restraining order – showing up to her home at all hours, even naked one early morning.

“It’s frightening,” Rea told NBC Bay Area.  “It’s creepy – there’s this guy who just watches me.” Ann fears for her own safety and believes Durgin will attempt to return to her home while he remains on the run from law enforcement.

It’s frightening. It’s creepy — there’s this guy who just watches me.

Ann Rea

Ann Rea, who has had a restraining order against James Durgin since 2017, fears Durgin will attempt to return to her home while he remains wanted by both federal and local law enforcement.

Durgin denied having obsession with Rea, said he’d never harm her

NBC Bay Area first profiled Rea’s story and her ongoing concerns about Durgin in the six-episode series ‘Saving San Francisco.’  As part of the investigative series, NBC Bay Area sat down with Durgin in a jail-house interview, where he denied ever wanting to hurt Ann and said he decided to show up to her home in the nude that one day in hopes of apologizing to Ann for his previous interactions with her.

“I showed up without clothes on because my friend recommended to me that I could show how sorry I was about things and that it would at least display a vulnerability,” Durgin said.  “I’m not ashamed of being vulnerable.”

Durgin was already facing a possible six-month federal sentence and a $5,000 fine in connection to the vandalism charge, but after failing to show up to court Thursday and violating his probation earlier this week, he will likely face even more time behind bars once he’s caught. 

Watch all six episodes of ‘Saving San Francisco’

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Source: NBC Bay Area

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