New bill could allow SFPD to cite people for selling stolen items on streets

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Tuesday, June 4, 2024
New bill could allow SFPD to cite people for selling stolen items
SB 925 could allow San Francisco police officers to cite anyone selling stolen items on the streets.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's fight against illegal fencing operations is intensifying. On Monday, Senator Scott Wiener announced SB 925 - a bill that would allow police officers to cite anyone selling stolen items on the streets.

"If a person is cited twice for selling these commonly stolen items without a permit, they can be cited with a misdemeanor the third time," said Senator Wiener.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors would need to create a list of the most commonly stolen items sold on the streets. SFPD would need to check that list of items before making citation anywhere in the city.

"SB 925 takes a focused surgical approach to illegal street fencing," said Senator Wiener, "We know that these issues are most pronounced in the Mission, Tenderloin, some part of South of Market and a few other areas but the city will be able to use this law wherever he issue arises."

In November of 2023, after what the city categorized as chaos on Mission Street with fencing operations taking over sidewalks and unpermitted vendors attacking public works inspectors, the city banned street vending on Mission Street.

MORE: SF Mission St. vendors blame 90-day ban for contributing to them ending up homeless, living in van

This decision also impacted vendors who did have permits to sell on Mission Street. Almost seven months later, the unveiling of SB 925 is giving more capacity to SFPD to enforce permits and the city has a new plan for the permitted vendors.

"We hope that by June 17, phase 1 will begin and that will be a return for vendors from 24th to 23rd street on Mission street," said Santiago Lerma, Mission Street crisis response coordinator.

Vendors with the Mission Street Vendors Association stood behind Senator Scott Weiner and Mayor Breed in support of SB 925.

"I'm grateful to be here with a strong coalition of people who want to ensure that we protect and support our vendors while also dealing with the illegal fencing that has really destroyed the fabric of what many people have been doing for many decades," said Mayor Breed.

"Very important for us, this is a win for us," said Rodrigo Lopez, president of the Mission Street Vendors Association, "Right now we feel like we are part of something. Part of the city."

I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: Fencing operation video shows what happens after car break-ins

We're getting a firsthand look at a fencing operation for stolen goods, showing what happens after all car break-ins we've seen across the Bay Area.

The city's public works department says this new bill will help inspectors

"This bill allows the police to be involved specifically around a certain list of items that are commonly stolen that will be developed based on the information of what we have confiscated in the past, and the police can issue citations in that case ultimately potentially even a misdemeanor but it will take the pressure off public works staff whose job is really to enforce permitted vending," Carla Short, San Francisco Public Works director.

SFPD Chief Bill Scott said officers would be able to tackle these markets aggressively.

"It puts the ability to do enforcement on this type of market back in the hands of the police department. For a very narrow focus. Fencing, stolen goods and the other thing is that it will give us the ability to be more proactive to address these markets," said Chief Scott.

If SB 925 passes, it would go into effect on January 1 allowing San Francisco police officers to have a new enforcement plan to tackle illegal fencing operations.

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