San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is no crime fighter. He’s among the new breed of decline-to-prosecute prosecutors whose elections have been funded by George Soros (and his political machine). The uber-wealthy agitator is determined to use his multiple billions not to advance society but disrupt it. So far, it appears Soros’ efforts are paying off.
“Smash-and-grab assailants,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle, are increasing “in some police districts that are mostly residential and rarely show up in guidebooks.”
While overall property crimes have fallen in San Francisco, the Chronicle says smash-and-grab incidents have “shot up” in the Richmond and Taraval police districts, “which each saw a 24% spike from 2018 to 2019, and the Ingleside police district, which saw a 20% increase” in the run-up to Boudin’s fall election. An average of 66 car burglaries were reported each day in December across the city following his victory but before he took office.
Those increases in Richmond, Taraval, and Ingleside precede Boudin’s administration. But the Safeway in Diamond Heights has become the site of a feast for automobile burglars that has residents so concerned in 2020 that they “packed a recent meeting to ask” Boudin, says the Chronicle’s Heather Knight, “what he’s going to do about it.”
“In a 1,000-foot zone around Not-So-Secret Safeway, there were just 19 car break-ins in 2018. That jumped to 77 break-ins in 2019, a rise of an eye-popping 305%,” Knight reports.
All property crimes declined in San Francisco from 54,356 incidents in 2017 to 49,214 in 2018, according to the California Justice Department’s Open Justice Database. But given Boudin’s invitation — he won’t be prosecuting quality-of-life crimes nor will he require defendants to post cash bail unless they are judged to be a public safety or flight risk — it’s safe to say that even more ambitious bandits in nearby communities where thefts from motor vehicles are common will be happy to cross the Bay Bridge or drive up the 101 to sharpen their skills in a more tolerant environment now that he is District Attorney.
Whether a visiting offender or a local, at least one has taken his criminal behavior to a higher level. Knight reports Rodney Suzuki, a financial planner, had his car broken into while he and his daughter were in it. It happened in November — the month Boudin was elected but long after it was known that the former deputy public defender was not going to be tough on crime.
Much of Knight’s story focused on Boudin, the no. 1 candidate of choice for “criminals and gang members,’’ according to the frustrated San Francisco Police Officers Association, telling fed-up residents at the “packed” meeting “what he’s going to do.”
“To his credit, he took many questions from an audience that probably didn’t vote for him in big numbers,” she writes.
While Boudin said “we’ve got to do better,” he also returned to a “campaign pledge,” telling the residents “his biggest priority is beefing up his victim services unit so those whose cars have been broken into can get help from the district attorney’s office.”
Sounds as if the prosecutor’s office has become a cleanup crew, there just to tidy up after crimes have been committed. Efforts made to establish an environment that disincentivizes criminal behavior seem to be missing from the agenda.
Boudin did mention at the meeting that one way “to deter auto break-ins” is to crack the “organized, sophisticated” fencing rings that sell $1 billion in stolen goods across the Bay Area every year. But the street side of that needs to be broken, as well. Residents would feel safer, and be genuinely safer, if more smash-and-grabbers were in jail rather than in residents’ cars.
Before recounting Suzuki’s experience in the Safeway parking lot, Knight noted that “like so many stories of Bay Area property crime recently, the acts” of thieves “are getting increasingly brazen.” It’s an interesting word selection. We’ll bet that it’s going to have to be redefined under Boudin. San Franciscans are likely seeing only the beginning of a wave of brazen criminal behavior.
Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute