Top SF officials to discuss solutions to rampant shoplifting, smash-and-grab robberies

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Monday, December 4, 2023
Top SF officials to discuss solutions to crime, city's image
A Gallup poll shows San Francisco was ranked a top city for perceived safety in 2006. However, it has seen a nearly 20-point drop in recent years.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Across the country, people are talking about San Francisco's image crisis. The homeless, drugs, an empty downtown and crime. But how do we move beyond these issues and Build a Better Bay Area? That's what ABC7 News will address in a live discussion on Monday with Mayor London Breed, Police Chief Bill Scott and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.

Part of the conversation will be around moving past San Francisco's viral videos of smash-and-grab robberies -- rampant shoplifting.

Shocking videos of crime after crime have given San Francisco a reputation in recent years.

TAKE ACTION SF: Mayor, city leaders to answer questions about future of city

ABC7 News has reported on many cases, ranging from a young woman getting robbed and dragged by a car, to stabbings in broad daylight, armed robberies and more.

The tips from viewers come in daily.

On social media, ABC7 News viewers are clearly fed up, with comments sections often filled with angry community members who express their frustration with crime in sometimes colorful language.

A Gallup poll shows San Francisco was ranked a top city for perceived safety in 2006. However, it has seen a nearly 20-point drop in recent years.

But does perception align with reality? We combed through years of crime stats and the results are complicated.

INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker

Overall, San Francisco's violent crime rate is low compared to other major cities.

In the most recent data from 2022, San Francisco clocked in at 658 violent crimes per 100,000 people. This lags behind New York, Los Angeles and Houston. It's also half the rate of Minneapolis -- a city with less than half the population.

Violent crimes include homicide and rape, aggravated assault and robbery. A Robbery is when property is taken from someone through threats or harm.

San Francisco was thrust into the national spotlight with a video in 2021 of a massive smash-and-grab robbery involving nine people at Louis Vuitton at Union Square.

RELATED: Video shows decimated San Francisco Louis Vuitton store after massive smash-and-grab robbery

Multiple suspects have been arrested after a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco was hit by thieves.

The next year, gun-wielding individuals hit a camera shop for $180,000 in gear.

According to SFPD data in our Neighborhood Safety Tracker, robberies increased slightly in the last 12 months compared to all of 2022. But, they haven't reached pre-pandemic levels.

Videos of shoplifting have gone viral as well. This includes video captured by ABC7's Lyanne Melendez at a CVS Pharmacy, where a garbage-bag wielding shoplifter, rides a bicycle, right out the front door.

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