Robbery and shooting of tourist in San Francisco raises safety concerns

- A robbery and shooting of a visitor at a popular tourist destination in San Francisco just minutes after noon Tuesday has left people shaken.

The victim is a tourist from Thailand. He was treated for a gunshot wound at San Francisco General Hospita. Police say his injury is not life-threating.

Crooked Lombard Street attracts tourists with their cameras. 

"It's a great city. Love it! Enjoying it," said Joe Chowaniec, who told KTVU this is his first visit to San Francisco. 

The area apparently draws crooks too.
Police say a tourist walking in the area was approached by a man who robbed him of his camera and ran.

"The victim tried to get his items back. A little chase transpired heading down towards Lombard Street," said Officer Carlos Manfredi. 

That's when a second suspect showed up driving a red Cadillac. Shots were fired, hitting the tourist in the shoulder.

Other visitors said they're shocked at the violence. 

"Wow!" said Chowaniec who is visiting with his wife Rami. She said she found it unbelievable while her husband added, "We found it really safe here so far." 

Police spotted the getaway car speeding towards the Bay Bridge and followed it to Oakland. 

The chased ended on 60th Street near the Emeryville city line. Both suspects tried to run. Officers arrested one right away.

A police dog tracked down the second suspect about two hours later, biting him in the process.

Officers recovered the stolen camera. It appeared the camera was thrown out of the getaway car. 

Visitors said the robbery is a reminder of what to do and not do. 

"They can have my camera. They can have it. Better than my life," said Chowaniec.

"We would just hand things over," added his wife Rami. "We wouldn't worry. It's just a camera." 

"To have it happen in the safest parts of town where you feel protected during the middle of the day is shocking," said Joe D'Alessandro, who works with SF Travel, a company that markets the city to the world.

He says the robbery -- on the heels of numerous car break-ins and smash-and-grabs -- is not good for the city's number one industry: tourism. 

"Unfortunately, we had a shooting at the waterfront last month and then this. It just makes you all very concerned," said D'Alessandro. 

Police Chief Greg Suhr and the supervisor representing the Russian Hill neighborhood where the robbery of the tourist happened have scheduled a news conference Wednesday afternoon to talk about the incident.

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