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One garage. Two days. Nine break-ins. S.F.’s surge in burglaries is driving residents ‘hopping mad’

One garage. Two days. Nine break-ins. S.F.’s surge in burglaries is driving residents ‘hopping mad’

Jenna Smith was in Chicago last month attending her grandmother’s funeral when her boyfriend began scrolling through home security footage on his phone. Suddenly, he noticed a figure that didn’t belong there. Someone had broken into the garage of their Mission District apartment building.

Stunned, Smith watched the burglar flicker to life on her own phone screen, through an app linked to the garage’s security cameras. A man wandered into the frame, cased the floor and left with suitcases full of items. He would be back.

The man, or someone who resembled him, broke in nine times in two days, she said, rolling in several times on a Lime scooter, once with a female accomplice.

“I didn’t sleep,” Smith said. “I was like a crazy person, staring at these security cameras.”

Smith called police at Mission Station and officers came to her home three times, always arriving minutes after the thief left. They declined to pursue a suspect without a police report, frustrating Smith’s boyfriend so much that he caught a flight to San Francisco in the middle of the night and drove directly to the police station — only to be told the police had to take the report at his home.

They were among thousands of victims of a citywide surge in burglaries, which increased from 4,323 through Nov. 14, 2019, to 6,437 for the same period of time in 2020, with a slight dip to 6,289 this year. Police records show spikes around the Taraval, Mission, Bayview and Ingleside stations, a sign that burglars are targeting the outer west side, southeast and Castro district neighborhoods, where many residents live in Victorians with ground floor garages.


https://www.sfchronicle.com/sf/article/S-F-s-pandemic-surge-in-burglaries-is-16633265.php