Houseboat and yacht residents in the San Francisco Bay have sounded off about incidents of piracy skyrocketing by marauders pillaging and plundering from their watercrafts — and even stealing entire boats as The Golden City faces a crime crisis, informs ‘The New York Post’.
“The open shoreline of the [Oakland-Alameda] Estuary is littered with sunken wrecks and derelict, end-of-life vessels, and crime has risen to truly intolerable levels,” former harbormaster Brock de Lappe said during a San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission enforcement meeting, according to a Fox News Digital report.
“Multiple vessels have been stolen and ransacked. Victims have had to resort to personally confronting the criminals to recover their property without the benefit of police support. Is this appropriate activity for a 79-year-old senior?”
The troubling piracy trend had struck the Alameda Community Sailing Center, where four of their safety boats, which are worth between $25,000 and $35,000 each, had been stolen or destroyed, Fox Business reported.
“We cannot run our program without these boats,” owner Kame Richards reportedly wrote in a letter to the municipal commission.
“The response we received from APD [Alameda Police Department] was that they could do nothing, and a warning not to approach the perpetrators if we located our boats” Richards added, claiming that it took 35 hours to get a police report from the cops.
“We called them right after it happened, and they said, ‘Wait, we’ll send an officer.’ It’s dinner time, and there’s still no officer... Then they said they can’t help us, and their best advice is to find the boats but don’t approach the perpetrators,” Richards’s letter stated.
“Crime is both the perception of crime and the actual presence of crime,” Nishant Joshi, Chief of Alameda PD, said.
“And I say that because although, of the total incidents that are generated in the city of Alameda, less than one percent of those are attributed to all of our marinas.”
Some residents believe the influx of crime in the Oakland Estuary, the channel that separates Oakland from the suburban island community of Alameda, is coming from homeless residents in Oakland.
Oakland, a city of 433,000 is now home to more than 9,700 homeless people, a 22% increase since before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to non-profit EveryOne Home.
“And you wonder, where did they get these boats? Small boats are expensive,” Jamie Camacho said. “Maybe they’re taking what little money they have to buy them, but it’s, you know… I know a lot of friends who have had their small boats disappear and their outboard motors.”
Violent crime in San Francisco surged 12% last month, compared to August 2022, according to statistics from the San Francisco Police Department — with robbery up a whopping 31%.
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