In an irony of sorts, San Francisco's District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai had his car burglarized at City Hall while he was demanding a hearing on the city's rate in crime. "My car was broken into right in front of City Hall on Tuesday," tweeted Supervisor Ahsha Safai along with a photo of the broken window of his car.
Safai said that nothing was stolen from his vehicle. The burglary came in at a time when Safai has already been pushing for reforms in San Francisco amid increasing incidents of thefts and robbery. The incident happened when Safai was at City Hall for a hearing to review the increase in shoplifting and theft in the city, specifically at stores like CVS and Walgreens. There were CCTV cameras but the rain made the cameras' video fuzzy and therefore it was difficult to identify the suspect.
Safai said, "We cannot just turn a blind eye. Theft and burglary in this City have been emboldened and rampant - no one is immune to this issue."
"I had just called for a hearing to ask our district attorney, our police chief, probation and others to come and talk to us about the increase in theft and crime and how we can begin to help protect our commercial corridors….and then I come out to my car and my car is broken into," said Safai
Police Statistics in San Francisco demonstrate a rise in burglaries by over 56% this year to date compared to the burglaries at the same time last year. During the same period, motor vehicle thefts have gone up by 20%. San Francisco's crime statistics show that larceny thefts are down 48% in the first two months of 2021, however, the number of thefts in January and February topped 3,400.
Just last week, a news reporter from KPIX-5 was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight while he was investigating a rise in car break-ins. The recent wave of burglaries has led several small businesses to hire armed security guards. The home burglaries are also reported to have increased.
"I think there's a certain level of desperation on the people that are doing this," he said. "It wasn’t like there was something in my car worthwhile," said Safai, who has lived in the area for decades and never had his car broken into before.
In a phone interview to Fox News on Thursday, Safai mentioned that in a recent city hearing on substance abuse, the lawmakers learned that 75% of prior offenders in the last year had underlying substance abuse issues. He said that he has already proposed a community-based abstinence model to give the addicts a path to recovery rather than probation or incarceration. He further said that his proposal of a "pure abstinence-based model" would differ from the current "harm reduction" models that allow addicts to get off the substances by themselves.
"Where they’re living until people are able to get their lives clean, back on the road to recovery," he said.
The increase in crime in San Francisco has resulted in a recall campaign targeted towards San Francisco's District Attorney Chesa Boudin. The organizers of the recall campaign received a green light from the city's Department of Elections to gather signatures. The recall needs 51,000 recall signatures by mid-August to be successful. Several people requested Safai on Twitter after he posted the picture of his car with the broken window to back the recall campaign against District Attorney Boudin.
The deteriorating economy is definitely a contributing factor in the increase in such incidents, hopefully, the relaxation of safety measures as the city reopens and the improving COVID-19 cases will bring these cases down as the job market will start to boom again in the next few months as more and more businesses start to reopen.