SF to crack down on illegal vendors in the Mission District, 'confiscate' items

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ByLuz Pena via KGO logo
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
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Starting Tuesday, San Francisco Public Works will begin to confiscate items from street vendors who refuse to leave the area and don't have permits.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Starting Tuesday, San Francisco Public Works will begin to confiscate items from vendors who refuse to leave the area and don't have permits. For months, San Francisco's Mission District has seen an influx of street vendors in the area selling what looks like stolen goods and drugs.

Residents and business owners have complained about blocked sidewalk access.

"The BART station is very terrible," said Ariel Balan, restaurant owner.

Earlier this year, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted to require every street vendor to have a permit.

Ismael Sanchez has been selling traditional Mexican items on 24th Street for seven years. He is one of 41 vendors who has received a permit ahead of the enforcement.

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Luz Pena: "When did you get it?"

Ismael Sanchez: "Last week, but this is the first week we are displaying it."

Vendors who don't have permits will be asked to leave the area starting Tuesday morning.

"If you are selling goods on the sidewalk and our street inspectors come up to you we are going to ask to see a permit. One of the new vending permits. If they don't have one they will have an opportunity to pick their goods and leave," said Rachel Gordon, San Francisco Public Works public information officer.

If a vendor refuses to leave the area Public Works inspectors will be allowed confiscate their items.

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"We can confiscate their wares. Whatever the goods are selling. We'll be working hand in hand with the police department at that point. We can also issue something called a notice of violation and warning that they can get fined. If they continue to sell there," said Gordon.

With just hours to the crackdown, there are still street vendors waiting for their permits.

"My permit is not ready yet. They said it's coming soon," said Maria Villegas, Mission Street vendor

Street vendors like Maria Villegas won't get their items confiscated or asked to leave because they have the sticker and ID that proves their applications are being process.

Public Works said confiscated items will only be given back if the street vendor can show proof of purchase. That's ultimately how they are cracking down on stolen goods market.

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