Crime is just a ‘basic city experience’ in San Francisco

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A Sheriff’s vehicle is driven under police tape near the scene of a shooting Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Multiple people were killed in two related shootings Monday at a mushroom farm and a trucking firm in a coastal community south of San Francisco, and officials say a suspect is in custody. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) Jeff Chiu/AP

Crime is just a ‘basic city experience’ in San Francisco

San Francisco: the city of $20,000 trash cans, free drug paraphernalia, and routine car break-ins. Surely the hundreds of thousands of residents who have fled the city over the past several years simply failed to recognize the city’s charms. Or perhaps they just weren’t cut out for the urban life.

So says John Hamasaki, the city’s former police commissioner and a failed candidate for San Francisco district attorney. According to Hamasaki, residents and visitors who dislike having their property stolen and violated are simply unprepared for “basic city experiences.”

Hamasaki was responding to a report from a tech CEO that he and his colleagues had been robbed while dining in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. They returned to their vehicle after dinner only to find a “smashed car window and 2 stolen backpacks. $10K in gear lost, passports gone, etc.,” Snehal Antani, the founder of cybersecurity firm Horizon3.ai, tweeted.

“My teammates will be scarred forever, being robbed hits you at your core, especially when it’s thousands of dollars of loss,” Antani said. “There is no downtown recovery without an aggressive push for safety.”

Hamasaki replied: “Interesting. Would getting your car window broken and some stuff stolen leave you ‘scarred forever’? Is this what the suburbs do to you? Shelter you from basic city life experiences so that when they happen you are broken to the core?”

Again, this is a man who wanted to be San Francisco’s district attorney — you know, the official responsible for prosecuting criminals and enforcing the city’s laws.

The normalization of crime and the breakdown in the rule of law have left once-flourishing cities such as San Francisco rotting from the inside out. It is not normal to have to leave one’s car windows down in the hopes that thieves will at least avoid damaging your car as they purloin its contents. It is not normal to leave a vehicle unattended for four seconds, only to return and find most of your luggage stolen, as a CNN crew experienced while filming a segment on crime in San Francisco.

In fact, it is not normal to have your car broken into at all, which Hamasaki seems to forget. Theft of any kind is a travesty, an abnormal violation of property rights that should be punished swiftly. Today’s San Francisco is what happens when it’s not.

On average, the city experiences 74 car break-ins a day, with vehicle theft jumping by 200% in 2021 alone. Police officers make arrests in less than 2% of break-in cases, in large part because San Francisco’s prosecutors refuse to charge the criminals when they’re brought in. There are developing countries with lower theft rates.

Why do liberals such as Hamasaki expect so little of their city? Why are they content to shrug off San Francisco’s horrendous crime rates as no big deal? Do they not care about the city’s welfare or their own?

Hamasaki might not, but there are plenty who do. Unfortunately for San Francisco, they’re the ones leaving, taking their good sense and tax revenue with them.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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