Smash-and-grab burglar rams truck into San Francisco audio shop

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU and wires) – At least one thief, using a pickup truck as a battering ram, broke into a San Francisco audio store early Friday, the latest in a series of smash-and-grab robberies targeting high-end retailers.

San Francisco police Capt. Greg McEachern said officers responded to a report of a break in at the Audio Vision SF in the 1600 block of California Street at roughly 4 a.m.

When they arrived, they discovered that the front of the building had been heavily damaged and the thief had fled.

"The owner had an extensive security system," McEachern said. "The individual had to crash the truck into the building at least twice."

The store's co-owner -- Randolph Johnson – said the thief quickly went into the store and ripped off what he could carry.

The thief attempted to use a speaker to attempt to break into a backroom containing high-end equipment but could gain entry.

"There have been a slew of hi-fi shops broken into," Johnson said. "I think we are the sixth in the Bay Area."

It also was the latest in a series of smash-and-grabs in San Francisco.

"There have been a number of these recently in the Financial District and other locations," McEachern said. "This is similar to the incidents in the past."

He said the thief or thieves are "trying to steal high-end equipment."

It was not immediately known the dollar value of the stolen equipment. The store received significant exterior damage that may cost $100,000 or more to repair.

McEachern said investigators were reviewing surveillance video for clues as to the identity of the suspect.

The suspect was believed to have fled the scene in a four-door, Toyota Tacoma truck with extensive rear-end damage.