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San Francisco reporter went to cover car break-ins and was robbed at gunpoint

San Francisco has a serious problem with car break-ins. Back in 2018 there were reports that some exhausted city residents who’d had their cars broken into more than once were now leaving notes in the window begging thieves to move on. Here are some of those messages:

Creativity contest! Okay it’s not really a contest BUT I do want to hear from you! Have you taken a pic of a note in or on a car like this? Please show me your best plea to SF car break in thieves! @SFCarBreakins @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/H8X1nppTyc

— Melanie Woodrow (@MelanieWoodrow) September 12, 2018

The situation has not improved since then. Last month I wrote about the murder of private investigator Jack Palladino. Palladino had reportedly run outside to take a photo of a suspicious car that was casing his neighborhood. When he did, the car turned and pulled up next to him. One of the people in the car tried to grab his camera and wound up dragging him down the street and killing him.

Some of the thieves are now stealing from cars in broad daylight in front of witnesses.

Brazen smash-and-grab at Golden Gate Park caught on video by @rabidmarmot. But watch what happens at end as suspect gets into Chevy Impala w/plate 5ZZN552. pic.twitter.com/j5abpbnGAP

— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) February 25, 2021

In one case that made the local news this month, the thieves broke into the car while the owner was driving it:

Dashcam of road robbery in SF

Before they would break your window when you left your car. Now that there is no law enforcement, they will just do it when you are in traffic instead.

Stay out of San Francisco!

P.S I live here, I know what I am talking about pic.twitter.com/SZ1YsheHY0

— Sean Daley (@SeanDaleyCA) February 8, 2021

This week, KPIX 5, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco, sent a reporter out to cover the story after video of a daytime break-in circulated. You’ll never guess what happened:

A KPIX 5 reporter investigating a series of auto break-ins around Twin Peaks in San Francisco was robbed of his camera at gunpoint Wednesday…

KPIX 5 reporter Don Ford was on the story Tuesday and again on Wednesday, and was preparing to interview nearby homeowners when a white luxury sedan with four men inside pulled up.

“The car came up here while we were about to do an interview, three guys jumped out,” said Ford. “One had a gun and put in my face and said, ‘We’re taking the camera.’”

And he did take the camera. A Supervisor for the area where the robbery took place expressed outrage over the incident:

but not entirely unexpected in San Francisco in 2021. We need to adequately resource public safety agencies, adopt better strategies to stop repeat offenders & make clear that San Francisco is not a place that you can commit crimes & put people’s lives at risk with impunity. 2/2

— Rafael Mandelman (@RafaelMandelman) March 3, 2021

That’s something I guess, but does anyone really believe “adequately resourcing public safety agencies” is on the agenda in San Francisco? This problem has been going on for years at this point and in the wake of “defund police” the chances of anyone doing anything about it seems pretty remote. I guess we’ll see.

Here’s the KPIX report:

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