Even when a film student tracked his $24,000 worth of stolen camera equipment there, San Francisco police didn’t raid or close down a recognised hotspot where people trade stolen goods that is situated just blocks from a neighbourhood precinct.
“San Francisco is a five-alarm fire when it comes to property crimes like organized retail theft, auto burglary and car thefts,” Schuck told Fox News in an email. “The organized criminal enterprises operate freely.”
The film student’s cameras, lenses, and drone were taken from his rental car as he was eating lunch in Oakland, California. Before he notified the police, Schuck used Apple AirTags he’d placed in the camera cases to track the stolen goods to the nearby city of San Francisco.
“Oh yeah, that’s a known major fencing operation,” the SFPD officer told Shuck. “Everyone in the Bay Area knows they can come and offload their stolen goods there.”
“I don’t blame the individual police officers,” the film student told Fox News. “If the police were actually supported—as in properly backed up by the Mayor, the District Attorney, and the Board of Supervisors—the SFPD and other law enforcement agencies would have the freedom to investigate and prosecute criminals.”
He said that none of Schuck’s stolen property has been found.
The most recent police statistics show that there have been over 14,000 thefts from vehicles in San Francisco this year. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city has the highest per-capita rate of auto burglaries in the nation, and police only solve one out of every 100 car burglaries. Auto thefts are also up 12% from the previous year.
The Tenderloin neighbourhood of San Francisco, which has grown to be known for its open-air drug market and crime, is home to the hotspot for the resale of stolen goods.
“And it’s a block and a half, not even a block and a half from the Tenderloin Police Station,” Schuck told KGO-TV. “How were you not raiding that place on a daily basis?”
Dean Preston, the San Francisco supervisor in charge of the Tenderloin neighbourhood, held a hearing on car break-ins last week where he said “the city has made no noticeable progress.” Still, Elon Musk called Preston — a democratic socialist — “the person most responsible for the destruction of San Francisco” and posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he “needs to be fired.”
Schuck also desires new city officials.
“If the police know, and the Mayor knows, and the Supervisors know, and still this is allowed to operate.. This doesn’t pass the smell test,” he told Fox News in his email. “If everyone in political leadership, including Dean Preston, the Board Supervisor who represents the Tenderloin, were serious about solving the crime problem, they would have done it by now.”
“God, I just wish we had elected leaders in San Francisco who actually, I don’t know, had some original ideas, and some backbone, and cleaned this place up,” he wrote. “It’s never been like this.”
Requests for comment from Preston, the mayor of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Police Department went unanswered.