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Smash-and-grab in broad daylight caught on video — but victim isn't about to let robber get away with it


'It's always Golden Gate Park because where they know there's tourists'

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @rabidmarmot

San Francisco resident Forrest Lanning was driving through Golden Gate Park on his way back from lunch Wednesday, KPIX-TV reported, when he caught an unusual sight ah

ead of him on the side of the road that led him to pull out his cellphone camera and start recording.

"I saw this guy at the car, and I thought he was just trying to open it, but then I saw him break the window, and then I'm like, 'He's doing one of those smash-and-grabs,'" Lanning told the station.

Image source: KPIX-TV video screenshot

Indeed, it was — but Lanning caught something else unexpected: The victim chased the robber across Martin Luther King Drive.

Video shows the robber starting off with a stolen suitcase and backpack:

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @rabidmarmot

But once he notices the victim is chasing him, the culprit drops the suitcase in the middle of the street. The victim then shoves the crook by a waiting getaway car and wrestles the backpack from him.

Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @rabidmarmot

Now empty-handed, the robber gets into the passenger seat of the getaway car — but the incensed victim manages to whack the crook's passenger window with his reclaimed backpack before the car beats it.

Lanning also got a photo of the suspects' Chevy Impala — California license plate 5ZZN552 — and called police, KPIX said.

Turns out the victim and his family, including a toddler, were visiting from Seattle and had checked out of their hotel Wednesday morning, Lanning told the station.

"I've never seen it done in the neighborhoods; it's always Golden Gate Park because where they know there's tourists," he added to KPIX. "Something needs to be figured out because this is a really rampant problem."

How bad is it?

The station said city crime data shows that burglaries spiked 222%, robberies are up 74%, and car thefts increased 31% in the two districts that cover Golden Gate Park compared with the same period last year.

However, larceny thefts — which include smash-and-grabs and shoplifting — are down 44%, police told KPIX, noting the reason presumably is fewer tourists parking their cars in the city and many stores having been closed due to the pandemic.

One area resident told the station he frequently walks in the park and sees smashed glass on the ground from broken-into vehicles.

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