San Francisco Residents Hire Private Security to Stave Off Crime: ‘We Don’t Feel Safe in Our Neighborhood’

The western span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge and San Francisco skyline seen November 2, 2001. Bridge security in California has been stepped up since California Governor Gray Davis announced authorities have received very credible threats that one of California's many suspension bridges may be targeted for terrorist attack …
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At least 150 residents in San Francisco’s Marina District have hired private security as crimes in the area have caused significant concerns among community members.

“We don’t feel safe in our neighborhood,” Marina resident Katie Lyons told CBS SF. “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.”

She informed the outlet that frequent car break-ins and home burglaries prompted her to hire private security, CBS SF reported. Lyons and other residents have hired Patrol Special Officer Alan Byard to keep tabs on the neighborhood. Patrol special officers such as Byard are overseen by the police commission, according to the outlet. 

“It’s a nice area down here, people are afraid of what’s been going on,” Byard told CBS SF. “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.”

Since the advent of the pandemic, Byard says his clientele in the Marina area rose from 70 to 150, according to CBS SF. The patrol special officer says that car break-ins are one of the significant issues along with homeless individuals sleeping on residents’ doorsteps, according to CBS SF.

Burglaries have jumped significantly throughout San Francisco since the pre-pandemic days of 2019. According to the San Francisco Police Department’s Crime Dashboard records, from January 1, 2019 – October 17, 2019, San Francisco saw 3,955 burglaries. Over the same time period in 2021, the city saw 5,800 burglaries. The police department reports 5,864 burglaries over the same period in 2020.

Lyons says that she has to take special precautions when traveling in her community. “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,” she told CBS SF.

Australian singer Clinton Kane says he was held at gunpoint on October 15 in the Marina area of San Francisco after witnessing his car was being broken into, according to CBS SF.

“We kind of heard glass shatter, and we looked over and we kind of knew it was our car already,” Kane told the outlet. “We basically, three of us, two of my mates went over to the car, and as soon as we tried stopping them, they pulled out guns on us, all three of them, and then we ended up on the floor with our hands raised.”

The singer says that thieves took off with $30,000 worth of camera equipment, according to the outlet.

On October 19, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a $100,000 reward on information regarding rampant auto burglaries. While she was speaking a car was broken into just blocks away which belonged to a couple visiting from Seattle, Washington, according to Fox News.

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