retail theft

SF Leaders Outline Proposal to Prevent Flash Mob Robberies

NBCUniversal Media, LLC San Francisco city leaders are proposing a plan to curb retail theft in the city, but some are wondering if it will be enough. Ginger Conejero Saab reports.

Retail theft as become a huge problem in San Francisco, especially in Union Square.

City leaders say they have a possible solution, but some wonder whether or not that'll be enough and want to know how flash mob robberies will be prevented from happening again.

"We're doing everything possible to make it better," San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said. "This is just another step and another tool to do just that."

The new plan to protect businesses is a proposal called 10-A which is an expansion of an existing program that will allow sheriff's deputies to work as private security guards while they're off duty.

SFPD off duty officers are already cleared to work security, but the department said they can't keep up with the requests.

"The fact of the matter is SFPD was unable to meet the demand for wat was asked of us and now we have our partners from the SF Sheriff's Department that will help alleviate those shortages," Chief Scott said.

Union Square businesses welcome the move especially after the flash mob robberies that caught national attention just weeks ago.

"To be able to go to an alternative - 10-A - really helps so that the police department can really use their resources well," said Union Square Business Alliance Executive Director Marisa Rodriguez.

The new legislation will not cost the city of San Francisco. Rather, retailers and private businesses who want the added layer of security will foot the bill.

The Board of Supervisors still needs to sign the proposal off and until that happens, people who come to San Francisco can expect to see a lot more on-duty police officers and sheriff's deputies during the holiday shopping.