The highest number of break-ins occurred in the San Francisco Police Department's (SFPD) Northern District, with 1,018 reported burglaries. The neighborhoods it covers has seen a 43 percent rise in these kinds of crimes. For some places, like around Van Ness Avenue and Union Street, the number of break-ins has gone up as high as 90 percent compared to the previous year.
“The problem is real, and it is completely unacceptable,” said Catherine Stefani, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who represents the neighborhoods of Marina and Cow Hollow.
In one incident, KPIX 5 published a video of a man trying to break into a house in Cow Hollow at 1:52 a.m. on August 22. The footage, which has since gone viral on social media, has been described as “creepy, disturbing and has shaken a sense of safety.” While the homeowner has not spoken publicly of the incident, many other San Franciscans have stated that these burglary attempts have become more rampant.
According to Stefani, a lot of the city's criminals are shifting towards burglaries. This can be seen by the fact that reports of shoplifting and car break-ins are down by 33 percent. But this does not mean that the city's crime rate is going down. Stefani, says the lack of car break-ins is simply because there are fewer tourists traveling to the city.
“So, the thieves are breaking into houses. Both are crimes of opportunity, and they see houses as the opportunity now,” added Stefani.
The city's crime woes are compounded by the fact that the SFPD's clearance rate has dropped by 25 percent. According to Tiffany Hang, SFPD spokeswoman, the department is working tirelessly to not only investigate all of the burglaries reported to the department, but to give the city's residents solid advice on how to protect themselves and their businesses. (Related: “Where are the police?” Anti-police Minneapolis City Council begs department to stop surging crime rate three months after voting to defund and abolish police.)
Hang also mentioned that the city has seen an increase in “hot prowl burglaries,” break-ins that occur while the resident is on the premises, due to the shelter-in-place order. The SFPD corroborated this data, and said that the main target of criminals were garages.
Marc Estoque, who works as a locksmith and home security expert for Cole Hardware, said that the past couple of months have been the busiest of his entire career, as he has helped a record number of San Francisco residents who have been the victims of burglaries upgrade their home security.
“I see it [every day]. What's really happening is single-family homes, where you have the garage and the tradesmen entrance, people are breaking in and stealing everything in the garage,” said Estoque. “I've been doing a lot of security consultation. Everybody is adding [deadbolts] and putting on better security locks.”
While the SFPD has stated they have increased the number of officers on patrol at any given time of the day, the city's homeowners are looking for a more decisive response from the police.
Iryna Gorb, a resident of San Francisco, talked to the local media about how her home was broken into in August, and how she was unable to get answers from the SFPD. Because of this, she called upon neighbors to send her pictures and videos from their surveillance cameras, which she then mapped out and showed to investigators.
Gorb was able to count more than 50 burglaries in a span of two weeks, and from what she saw in the footage, plenty of the same people are responsible for multiple burglaries. “I could see the same backpack and the same shoes,” said Gorb.
In an online community meeting with the SFPD, Tal Klement, a representative of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, could not answer the concerns of the homeowners. All Klement did was to say that they will do their best to coordinate with the SFPD to get suspects arrested.
“What we needed from [Boudin] was reassurance that he's on our side and listening to us and that he sees that we do have a problem and that he's helping us,” said Gorb.
“We did not see that.”
Learn more about the rise in crime in cities across America controlled by the Democrats by reading the articles at Rioting.news.