Major California city residents are stressing about being out after dark: ‘I’m taking a risk’
Some residents in the City by the Bay are on edge as car break-ins, thefts and robberies rise, telling Fox News the city is becoming more dangerous.
“The safety in San Francisco has been getting worse,” Andrea, a babysitter, told Fox News. “I’ve lived here my whole life — it’s always been a little unsafe, it’s a big city, but recently, it’s just been crazy high.”
“My mom even got her car stolen from outside of our house and there is no police to respond,” the nanny continued. “It’s alarming.”
Homicides and robberies are both up double digits — 12% and 13%, respectively — compared to this time last year, according to San Francisco police data. Motor vehicle thefts are also up 9% while other crimes such as burglary, larceny and assault are down.
“Yeah, crime is up for sure,” Christy said. “I am definitely seeing cars broken into.”
But David, a 12-year San Francisco resident, told Fox News: “I’ve never felt unsafe a single time.”
Even though its crime trends are better than other major cities, San Francisco “is worse than the data shows,” Charles “Cully” Stimson, a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow and a former prosecutor for the city, told Fox News in April. He said falling trust in police and county prosecutors cause crimes to go unreported, artificially softening data.
“Before, there wasn’t so much crime because there was more police monitoring,” Andrea said. “Now, you barely see them.”
“I know it’s not their fault because they’re defunded and there’s not a lot of them,” she continued. “But it would be nice to have that protection.”
San Francisco decreased law enforcement spending in 2020, but then increased the police budget the next two years, according to a city report. Despite an increase in law enforcement funding in the city’s latest budget, San Francisco’s Police Department’s full-duty sworn officers count is at a decade low, police data show.
Jeff, a young father, told Fox News: “It just generally does feel like things are less safe, a little bit more dangerous.”
A group of teenagers assaulted and robbed several mothers and babysitters last month in an affluent San Francisco neighborhood. Residents told Fox News the incident provoked a sense of lawlessness in the area.
Grocery and convenience stores in the city have been victims of rampant retail theft in recent years. Whole Foods’ flagship location shuttered in April due to safety concerns. Walgreens has closed at least six locations in the city since 2021, with a spokesperson citing “organized retail crime” as a reason for five of the closures.
Grocery store chain Safeway installed anti-theft security gates at self-checkout this month to combat theft. Patrons must scan receipts at the security gates to leave the store.
Residents are particularly concerned about their safety at night.
“There are times that you would be perhaps more worried about going to a certain neighborhood in the city at a certain time of night,” Teri told Fox News. “It’s getting worse, absolutely getting worse.”
Jeff said: “There are times where I will say, ‘yeah, maybe I’ll just kind of like stay inside a little bit’ if it’s later at night or dark where you have that underlying sense of I’m taking a risk.”
“It’s not fun to have to think about that,” he continued.
To watch the full interviews with San Francisco residents, click here.