Residents, small businesses exhausted by rash of burglaries in Richmond District

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San Francisco's Richmond District hit by burglaries – community and neighbors react

In San Francisco’s Richmond District, residents and small businesses are being hit by a wave of burglaries, which are motivating neighbors and community leaders to organize and prioritize safety for all. 

Residents and small businesses in San Francisco’s Richmond District have been hit by a wave of burglaries. 

Family-owned restaurants are among the businesses that help the community thrive, but many of those establishments are hurting. This week, another restaurant was vandalized, with the windows smashed and tablets stolen.

Neighbor Jim Riley said it’s infuriating. 

Riley said, "It's really frustrating to see it on a regular basis. Just yesterday when we came here, we walked through a bunch of glass right behind me at the Chinese restaurant that had been broken into four times."

Marjan Philhour, who is running for District 1 Supervisor in the November election, said she wants more support for the police, residents and merchants.

"It's really gone too far; I think so many business owners and families who live here have really had enough. They're looking for a change in what they see on the streets every day. And I think we didn't get here overnight," said Philhour.

In the large community that spans from Ocean Beach to Divisadero Street, there’s appreciation for the police, according to Philhour. 

She said, "We have an amazing police captain and officers who are very engaged. But we only have 48 police officers here in the Richmond (District). But at any given time, there will be six police officers on the street. That's three cars, from the beach all the way to Divisadero."

San Francisco Police Department Captain Chris Canning, who's been an officer for 20 years, said that crime and vandalism impact small businesses and residents.

"The neighbors or the residents themselves suffering from crimes such as burglaries or vandalism," he said.

Captain Canning said voters demonstrated more support for the force with the recent ballot proposals that fund more technology for the department to address crime. 

"We're seeing some recent trends, such as break-ins and vandalism, but what we’ve also seen is a number of encouraging ballot measures that have passed which allow the police department to leverage technology advancements to really help facilitate where we can send officers and accelerate crime reports," he said.

Captain Canning shares that even though police departments around the country are short-staffed, it’s still very important for victims of crime to report incidents.

He said, "We can do our jobs better by hearing from victims or witnesses. That’s why the most important thing in our layered approach is for folks to report crimes."

Current San Francisco District Supervisor 1 Connie Chan’s office told KTVU that she is looking forward to automatic license plate readers and other technologies being implemented to address crime throughout the Richmond district neighborhood and the city, in an effort to improve public safety for all. 

Alice Wertz is a freelance reporter for KTVU Fox 2 News. She can be reached at