‘So I Went Out With A Baseball Bat’: Residents Describe Dealing With Rampant Theft In San Francisco

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Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Residents and visitors to San Francisco are using tracking gadgets to find their stolen property, as law enforcement can do little to mitigate rampant crime within the city’s homeless and criminal population.

A crime reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle tracked thieves who stole her car, describing the ordeal in a lengthy article published Friday. Within her story, writer Megan Cassidy details the seemingly endless examples of other Bay Area residents resorting to their own forms of justice as property crime skyrockets throughout the city.

Local law enforcement told Cassidy that they always advise against victims following their valuables, but folks weren’t afraid to tell the journo what they were willing to do to get their stuff back when police failed to do anything.

One man described following his stolen truck for hours in September 2021. When police showed up to pull the thief over, the thief sped up and out of sight. Police reportedly told the victim to let them know if the thief bothered to stop and get out of the stolen truck.

Another resorted to all-out vigilantism to get his stuff back. The man had a bike stolen and was told nothing could be done until at least the following day. “So I went out with a baseball bat,” he said.

“Found [the bike] and trashed the guy’s tent,” the vigilante explained, one of many in Cassidy’s article who note their belongings end up either in hotel rooms — which require search warrants to enter — or in homeless encampments where it’s almost impossible to identify the criminals from the transients. (RELATED: MMA Fighter Pins Alleged Serial Puncher In Epic Street Brawl)

Cassidy stressed that most everyone she interviewed had nothing but positive things to say about San Francisco’s law enforcement. Officers blamed “prosecutors, policy, state laws or time constraints for not performing what seemed to be standard police work,” she wrote. Is it any surprise that San Francisco was ranked one of the “worst-run” cities in the U.S.?

She concluded her investigation with the hope that the more people use tracking gadgets, the more thieves will be deterred from stealing property. Call me crazy, but surely legal punishment and threats of jail time should deter people from stealing from each other?