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Learn how to Struggle San Francisco’s Theft Epidemic


Should you missed the explosive report by KGO-TV reporter Dan Noyes on the theft epidemic in San Francisco, I need to each share his tales and provide some commonsense options to an issue that’s gotten means out of hand.

You realize that thieves in San Francisco (and elsewhere) are smashing the windows of cars to rob stuff, sensing that the police received’t chase or arrest them. Photographers have been adopted by thieves and had their gear taken, and the tools has gotten shortly resold on the streets. They simply transfer laptops in broad daylight, and although they’ve been recorded on video doing so, the town continues to permit it to occur, with few arrests.

As you’ll see within the KGO report, even footage of the transactions shot by a involved neighbor was met with indifference by the San Francisco Police Dept.

Each stakeholder concerned blames one other division. Nobody will take duty, nor do something significant to scrub issues up, together with the mayor, board of supervisors, district lawyer, and police, as you’ll see within the experiences.

The Information Stories

I used to be personally robbed of my camera gear in 2021 during a shoot in San Francisco. I used to be filming solo, speaking into the digicam, when a thief with an enormous grin on his face ran up, yanked my digicam, tripod, and microphones in what appeared to be like 2 seconds, shoved it right into a getaway automotive, and fled the scene.

Some spectators obtained pictures of their license plate, and I reported the crime to a member of the U.S. Park Police, which has jurisdiction over Crissy Subject, a part of the Nationwide Park Service. The officer assured me that I’d by no means see my stuff once more, took down the data in a blase method, and was very exhausting to achieve afterward. I needed to know if they’d checked the license plate and whether or not an arrest was made. I needed to name him over 5 occasions earlier than I obtained a response.

“The plates have been stolen,” he advised me. Finish of story.

The robbers making off with my digicam gear of their getaway automotive.

Defending Your Stuff in San Francisco

So what to do if you happen to go to San Francisco? I referred to as a San Francisco cop this week to ask simply that, and the very first thing he suggested was to not have a rental automotive. They’re an enormous attraction for thieves to smash and seize as a result of they know folks from out of city will probably be lugging plenty of helpful stuff.

Resolution: Should you ever go to San Francisco, take an Uber!

The cop additionally stated precise in-person robberies of digicam gear are uncommon (regardless of high-profile reports that say in any other case) however that pick-pocketing was on the rise, and to watch out about that.

San Francisco appears to get the lion’s share of unhealthy press for the “smash and grabs” regardless of a easy Google search exhibiting them elsewhere as properly, together with Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis.

Nonetheless, Google “digicam robbed” and the primary web page of outcomes all are in San Francisco and the Bay Space.

If I used to be answerable for a metropolis getting that sort of unfavorable publicity, I might be motivated to provide you with methods to place an finish to it, as a substitute of passing the buck.

So right here’s what I might do.

Concepts for Cleansing Up San Francisco

San Francisco wants a brand new mayor, district lawyer, head of police, and board of supervisors. Throw the bums out.

What drawback is of extra concern than primary security? If these people need to proceed denying their duty (as they do within the KGO report) and never provide you with significant options, they shouldn’t be allowed to stay on the job.

The reform-minded DA, Chesa Boudin, is dealing with a recall vote in June and insists that his workplace has had a better prosecution charge than his predecessor. However as a result of he’s introduced a coverage of fewer prosecutions for lower-level crimes, he’s turn into the poster boy as Smash and Seize Enemy #1, a minimum of to critics. Police have stated they’re reluctant to make arrests as a result of Boudin received’t prosecute them.

Nevertheless it’s not simply San Francisco. Add Walnut Creek, San Jose, Oakland, and different California communities which have additionally been sufferer to high-profile smash and grabs.

Resolution: Change the legal guidelines.

Lots of the officers put blame on legal guidelines which might be stated to have made the state of affairs worse, like decreasing prison sentences for nonviolent crimes like shoplifting (Prop. 47) or not permitting the cops to chase for property crime. Critics say the brand new legal guidelines work. Someplace within the center is the reality.

If I have been an enterprising politician, I might know a successful ticket after I noticed it — change the legal guidelines, silly!

No road distributors allowed.

You and I do know that many road distributors have been promoting stolen and counterfeit items for years on makeshift tables. Why are we permitting road merchandising within the first place? Aren’t the streets crowded sufficient as they’re? SF lately handed laws to regulate the vendors. Requiring a allow for road merchandising, as has been steered isn’t going to cease the re-selling of theft.

Resolution: If these distributors need to be in retail, have them open a bodily retailer, and require each used product offered to be categorized with serial numbers filed with the town.

E-commerce resellers like Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist should play ball.

They will’t proceed to permit the resale of devices without proof of ownership. (The eBay assertion on stolen items is laughable. The corporate “doesn’t allow” it, and the punishment is that you simply received’t have the ability to promote something on eBay anymore. )

Digicam corporations have to put in safeguards. As has been mentioned a number of times, Nikon, Canon, Sony, and their ilk want to assist the individuals who pay 1000’s of {dollars} to purchase their gear by inserting know-how that may monitor the cameras and switch them into bricks as soon as stolen, as Apple does with the iPhone.

If energy software corporations can assist prospects track and lock stolen tools, digicam corporations can too.

Rent extra police.

A number of photographers had their gear stolen from them bodily when visiting Twin Peaks in San Francisco, a distant part of the town that doesn’t have a lot police presence. It’s so unhealthy that 2 native TV reporters went up there to do tales in regards to the rampant crime, and had their cameras stolen from them at gunpoint whereas reporting. Extra women and men in uniform accessible to really arrest folks may make thieves assume twice about doing what they’re doing.


The opinions expressed on this article are solely these of the creator.


In regards to the creator: Jefferson Graham is a Los Angeles space author/photographer and the host of the journey images streaming TV sequence Photowalks. This text was additionally revealed here.


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