Police Tell San Francisco Homeowner To Hire Private Security After Suffering 8 Break-Ins
The rise in property crime has rattled neighborhoods across the city.
In San Francisco, burglaries, car thefts and the coordinated looting of retail stores have become so common that it’s easy to lose sight of the human toll of these crimes and the role that the government plays in allowing them to persist.
The experience of one city resident, whose home was broken into for an eighth time on Saturday, provides a window into the anarchy that has taken hold.
Ben Cook, a technology entrepreneur, purchased a home in the Dolores Heights neighborhood seven years ago and has been renovating it for the better part of the last two years. Over the course of that period, he has been at pains to protect the safety of his contractors, their expensive construction materials, and other items targeted by thieves at the work site from repeated thefts.
The last incident, a brazen intrusion by a man who entered the house by breaking into the front door, happened in broad daylight last Saturday morning. He appeared to be armed, though he fled once confronted by a worker, and left the scene in a white BMW driven by someone who accompanied him to the house.
In another incident in March, intruders arrived with two vehicles and ransacked the home, breaking windows and a downstairs door. They fled with construction tools, equipment, and appliances, including a washer and dryer.
Police have told Cook that they simply won’t investigate these types of crimes, according to Cook. After repeatedly calling the San Francisco Police Department to report the thefts with little to show for his efforts, an officer told Cook after Saturday’s break-in that he would have better luck hiring private security guards.
“I decided to invest a lot of my time and a big chunk of savings to put down roots here. I do love this city,” Cook told me. “But sometimes it feels like civilization is crumbling.”