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San Francisco Crime So Bad Residents Are Hiring Private Security

San Francisco, CA – Some families who live in San Francisco’s Marina District feel so unsafe in their homes and neighborhood that they have hired private security to protect themselves and monitor their streets.

Beach Street resident Katie Lyons’ family is one of the ones who has hired a patrol special officer to keep an eye on things, KPIX reported.

“We don’t feel safe in our neighborhood,” Lyons said. “And we have an alarm, we have cameras on our property, but we want the extra security of having someone have eyes on our place.”

Home and auto burglaries have gotten so bad in her neighborhood that Lyons has hired Patrol Special Officer Alan Byard to provide security for her Marina District home, KPIX reported.

More than 15,000 cars have been broken into in San Francisco so far this year, the Daily Mail reported.

A number of Lyon’s neighbors are also clients of Byard, who does rounds in the area from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. keeping an eye out for suspicious activity.

He charges $65 per household per month, KPIX reported.

“It’s a nice area down here, people are afraid of what’s been going on,” Byard said. “They want a safe place to raise their kids. In the last year, I’ve had 10 of my clients move out of the city.”

He said he also provides security services for businesses, but it was his residential clientele that has more than doubled since the start of the pandemic, KPIX reported.

Byard said he had 70 clients in the Marina District before, and he now has 150 clients in that area.

Patrol Special Officers are private security patrol officers whose licensure is overseen by the city’s police commission, according to KPIX.

Byard said the Marina District’s biggest problem was smash-and-grabs on cars in the neighborhood.

He also noted that in addition to petty theft and burglaries, there were numerous reports of homeless people sleeping on residents’ doorsteps, KPIX reported.

Lyons said she frequently finds stolen property, including empty luggage, abandoned in front of her house and said that cars parked nearby are frequently burglarized.

And she said she’s changed the way she lives her life in the neighborhood that she used to think of as safe, KPIX reported.

“Especially at night, I don’t walk with a purse, I’ll drive, or I’ll take an Uber, and it’s beginning to become a daytime problem too,” Lyons explained.

When Trisha Bantigue’s car was broken into on Hawthorne and Howard Streets in SoMa in September, the crime was caught on security video, KPIX reported.

Bantigue said she had been careful not to leave anything inside her brand-new car but that didn’t stop would-be thieves from smashing her window to take a closer look.

Dashcam video captured a series of smash-and-grabs on cars parked near Fisherman’s Wharf at Beach Street and Columbus Avenue, KPIX reported.

A black Audi followed closely as another person broke window after window in multiple vehicles.

Marina District resident Allan Brown told KPIX that crime has gotten much, much worse in the 20 years he has lived there.

“Oh absolutely, absolutely. This place used to be – nothing would ever happen here,” Brown said.

An effort to recall the anti-police district attorney who has stopped prosecuting all but the most violent of crimes is underway, the Daily Mail reported.

Voters will decide whether to replace San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin in a recall election next June, the Daily Mail reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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