Premium

San Fran Mayor Claims Thefts Are Down, Even As Retailers Close Over Shoplifting

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

With violent crime on the increase around most of the country, Democrats are doing everything they can to tout their supposed success in keeping city streets safe. San Francisco Mayor London Breed is no exception, and on Monday she and Police Chief Bill Scott released crime data from the first six months of 2021.

You know what they say about lies, damn lies, and statistics? Here’s a great example.

Areas that saw mid-year decreases include rape cases, with 88 reported so far this year, compared to 111 in 2020 and 202 in 2019; robberies with 1,123 reported in this year, compared to 1,269 in 2020 and 1,383 in 2019; and theft cases with 12,738 reported this year so far, compared to 14,001 cases in 2020 and 18,766 cases in 2019.

Does anybody truly believe that there’s been a remarkable decrease in thefts in San Francisco over the past three years? Retailers are closing early (and in some cases, closing stores entirely) because of the rampant theft across the city.

Amid a crime wave sweeping San Francisco, five Target store locations are reducing operating hours, closing at 6 p.m. instead of the usual 10 p.m., as managers seek to secure merchandise and employee safety, Forbes reported. Organized gangs brazenly steal branded items even with security present, as California raised the threshold for a felony charge from $450 to $950 in stolen goods.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott told NBC Nightly News thieves calculate the worth of shoplifted goods to fall below the felony threshold, meaning officers cannot take action for misdemeanor theft and stores must be willing to hire security guards to make a private persons arrest.

It’s not that there’s less stealing going on, it’s that less of it is being reported to police. Why bother, when nothing is going to happen to the offender? There’s literally nothing police can do in these cases, so why would victims bother calling to report a crime?
What are the chances that San Franciscans are also becoming more reluctant to call the police for other incidents. If a resident gets pushed, shoved or even punched on the street, are they really going to dial 911? There’s a pretty good chance that they wouldn’t want to get the police involved because they don’t want to help enable a system of institutionalized racism and inequity, but the odds are almost as good that they’d simply try to get away because they don’t believe that calling 911 and reporting a crime would actually do any good.
One sign that all is not well in the city by the Bay? Shootings and homicides are up, and those are the types of crimes that tend to be most reported (though not committed).

According to the data, homicides mid-year in 2019 were the lowest in 58 years with just 20, but homicides mid-year in 2020 increased to 22. This year, so far, 26 homicides have occurred.

Gun violence also rose, with the number of shooting victims, both fatal and non-fatal, mid-year at 119. That’s more than double the 58 shooting victims recorded mid-year in both 2019 and 2020.

According to the city’s police chief, shootings are increasing because criminals are increasingly building their own guns.

In regard to the uptick in homicides and gun violence, Scott said his department is collaborating with organizations like the California Partnership for Safe Communities to address the root causes of violence happening within communities.

But he said, the proliferation of ghost guns, which can be ordered online and easily assembled without a serial number, continues to play a role in the rise in gun violence.

“We have to get a handle on this,” he said. “The number of illegal ghost guns that we have confiscated over the past four years… has increased exponentially.”

First, you can’t stop criminals from building their own guns. It’s been happening for hundreds of years, and modern technology has just made it easier. This is a bitter pill for gun control activists to swallow, but that doesn’t make it less true.

But if California’s gun control laws actually worked, then it wouldn’t matter how many “ghost guns” police have confiscated over the past four years. I mean, not only are all home-built firearms supposed to be serialized with the state of California, but the state imposes background checks on the sale of all ammunition. Criminals will always be able to build a gun if they want to, but the ammo background check law was supposed to prevent them from loading those guns.

Will Chief Scott publicly acknowledge that California’s gun control laws aren’t stopping criminals? Of course not. Even if he privately believed that (and I’ve seen no indication that’s the case), he’s not going to get crosswise with his boss on the issue of gun control. Nevertheless, the state’s gun laws have proven to be no hindrance to violent criminals, though they’ve certainly curtailed the exercise of a civil right for San Franciscans who’d like to be able to carry a firearm in self-defense.

Of course, since San Francisco can’t acknowledge its real problems, we can’t expect that its leaders are going to be offering any real solutions, can we? No wonder that San Francisco was second only to Baltimore in terms of population loss last year. Would you stick around while the city falls apart around you?

Jul 31, 2021 8:30 AM ET