The San Francisco 49ers were well on their way to winning the Lombardi trophy more than halfway through the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, but they gave the game away and wound up losing big. In many ways, the Super Bowl is a metaphor for how San Franciso politicians are taking a beautiful city with a lot of potential and running it into the ground … a ground full of feces.
Thanks to the suspension of law enforcement and downgrading of many crimes, there’s a breakdown of public order in the Bay Area with theft, vagrancy, homelessness, and drugs becoming rampant. Last week, police announced there was a 300 percent increase in car thefts last year in the Diamond Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. At a town hall event, one victim described a break-in while he and his family were sitting in the actual car.
Who says crime doesn’t pay? In San Francisco, it certainly does pay for criminals. Who’s paying for it? Non-criminal taxpayers. Say what you want about criminals, but like any market force, they are very logical and respond to the incentives and disincentives placed before them. In San Francisco, they understand that they simply will not face prison time, even for repeat offenses.
The theft epidemic is also taking a toll on local businesses, as shoplifting becomes rampant. San Francisco also leads the nation in “porch piracy,” with burglars stealing packages off home porches. The number two and three cities for porch piracy are Los Angeles and Sacramento, respectively. A California coincidence?
In addition to the black market gangs that openly steal retail merchandise and sell it on the black market knowing that there will be no consequences, there are now “sophisticated network of international dealers who cross the border to buy stolen goods.”
But fear not, taxpayers of San Francisco, your newly elected district attorney, Chesa Boudin, promised to crack down on these criminal networks.
Do you really think a single criminal in the area doesn’t realize Boudin is really on their side? Boudin, who was raised by Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn after his parents were convicted for murder in New York City in the 1980s, spent his life defending criminals and has promised to dismantle the criminal justice system as well as immigration enforcement. He is now working on criminalizing any cooperation with federal immigration agents.
Forget about theft and car break-ins, Boudin won’t prosecute even violent criminals. Last month, Boudin decided to drop charges against Jamaica Hampton, a man who attacked cops with a glass bottle after they confronted him for allegedly committing a burglary. Boudin is instead investigating the cops for shooting Hampton when he smashed a cop over the head with the bottle. This comes as Boudin announced he will mimic New York’s outrageous policy of abolishing bail. He has also fired law-and-order-minded prosecutors from the homicide and gang units who don’t share his public defender mindset. Yes, that will really show those criminals!
Just how sensitive are criminals to disincentives? As Kent Scheidegger points out, neighboring San Mateo County is much stricter on auto thefts and often pursues prison time for repeat offenders. Even though the urban area flows seamlessly across the county border from San Francisco and it’s often hard to tell where the line is, the criminals will make sure to commit the burglaries on the San Francisco side of the line.
Overall, the rate of burglary in San Francisco is twice the national average, while the rate of theft is three times the national average.
Rather than the politicians dealing with the problem of deteriorating public order, homeowners in the Bay Area are being forced to pay for the cleanup from the homeless encampments. One community in Alameda County was forced to pay $20,000 to clean up one of these encampments, even though their tax dollars are supposed to go toward enforcing public order laws so that this won’t be a problem to begin with.