VIDEO: Thieves targeting tourists on San Francisco’s Lombard Street


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — If you are one of the thousands of people who plan on being in San Francisco Tuesday for the Fourth of July, KRON4 has a warning for you.

Neighbors who live near the crooked section of Lombard Street say thieves are targeting both out-of-towners and locals.

They’re after your valuables. In the last week alone, people in the area near Lombard Street have been victimized more than two dozen times.

KRON4 has new surveillance video of a thief in action. It happened Sunday on Filbert Street, two blocks from Lombard Street.

In the video, a family parked their car. You can even see the woman who after exiting, puts her items back inside the car, closes the door, and walk towards the famous section of Lombard Street.

A short time later, a man showed up, immediately started looking in the windows, and at one point, glanced down the street.

Then, he went back to the front seat, busted out the window, and grabbed what was in plain sight.

“And it’s pretty brazen about looking in, and then smashing their window and grabbing something out of it…just from talking to the victims I learned it was a bag like a woman’s purse with valuables,” said Jose Leos, who recorded the smash-and-grab.

But this is hardly a rare thing near Lombard Street. On Monday night, KRON4 crime mapped the area and found at least 24 cases in the past seven days where cars have been broken into.

That’s within two blocks of the crooked section of the well-known street and doesn’t include an alleged robbery case that happened at Lombard and Jones on Sunday.

“There is usually an uptick of crime during the summer,” San Francisco Police Officer Grace Gatpandan said. “We’re in the heart of summer right now. School is out. People are on vacation and coming to the city.”

Leos says he does see officers at the Lombard Street location but feels as though thieves have spread out to nearby blocks.

“I’ve been here for 20 years and noticed a difference in the last couple of years where I’ve seen an increase in crime,” Leos said.

Since Sunday, the video has been viewed hundreds of times on Jose’s YouTube page.

There is online frustration from many living in the area when it comes to the police response to these type of crimes.

“When it ends up being just a theft, it ends up being a low priority….I just don’t want it to escalate,” Leos said.

Officers recommend going to places like that with groups so someone can watch your back or watch your car when you’re busy snapping photos.

As to the thief in that video, he has not been caught.



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