San Francisco

Vandal Smashes Car Windows Along Block in San Francisco

San Francisco has a bad reputation among both locals and visitors when it comes to car break-ins.

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Residents living along San Francisco’s Lake Street said Saturday that their cars were recently vandalized.

Most of the damage happened on one block Friday afternoon, on the north side of Lake Street between 17th and 18th avenues.

Richie Greenberg posted the video of the aftermath on Twitter after seeing just how extensive the damage was.

“Here’s one. The back window has been smashed. And then this car right here, it looks like a rock hit this windshield. Here’s another one here,” Greenberg said in the video.

He continued down the street and counted seven total vehicles were vandalized Friday Afternoon.

“He went car by car, with what we understand was either a hammer or a crowbar and he just randomly hit one car, specifically targeting the windshield and then, moved on to the next car and the next,” Greenberg said.

San Francisco resident Ryan Hightower said his Subaru SUV was hit multiple times. He said that he had just returned from vacation when a San Francisco police officer knocked on his door to tell him what happened.

"It was our welcome back to San Francisco," he said.

Like the rest of the vehicles nothing was stolen, but Hightower's SUV was damaged far more than any of the others.

“My entire front windshield was bashed out, as well as the passenger side or the driver’s side window, and as you can see, the side view mirror got broken off too,” he said.

Hightower said the car's glass is already replaced to the tune of $1,200 and all the repairs could cost closer to $1,500.

San Francisco has a bad reputation among both locals and visitors when it comes to car break-ins.

Police told NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit that the city averaged 74 break-ins per day in 2021.

Despite the city’s notorious reputation, residents said they were surprised it happened in their neighborhood.

Greenberg said he was surprised too, so he went home and started going through all of the security camera videos on his Lake Street home. He said was a little too far way to catch the vandalism, but his surveillance video does show a police officer responding almost immediately.

“Very quickly, we understand within just a few minutes, after one of the bystanders here heard and saw what was going on – and they called SFPD – and there was a particular officer that responded within a minute or so,” he said.

Meanwhile, street cleaning crews swept up the last of the glass from Lake Street Saturday afternoon, as neighbors dig into their pockets to fix their cars.

Editor's Note: Our original report incorrectly reported that the incident happened overnight Saturday. It has since been corrected to Friday afternoon.

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