San Francisco

SFPD Reports Decrease in Crimes Since Beefing Up Patrols Around Union Square

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Weeks after San Francisco leaders promised to step up law enforcement in the Union Square area following a brazen smash and grab at Louis Vuitton, NBC Bay Area has learned how effective those efforts have been.

According to SFPD, holiday related retail crime in the Central Station police district, which includes Union Square, North Beach and Chinatown, is down from the 16-day period in which police beefed up patrols.

The department breaks down crimes into three categories: assaults, burglaries and larceny and theft. Activity in all three categories in the three neighborhoods fell, according to SFPD data, with assaults down 67%, from 3 to 1; burglaries down 91% from 11 to 1; and larceny and theft down 82% from 67 to 12.

That brings total crimes down by 82%, a decrease that includes vehicle thefts and robberies, police said.

Chief Bill Scott was optimistic about the numbers.

"We're going to keep this deployment through the holiday season, through Christmas and New Year's," he said. "Then we'll have an increase in deployment from what it used to be; I can't guarantee it will be at this level. ... We'll reassess because we do have an entire city to police."

Marc Capalbo with Gump's in San Francisco said he thinks the police presence is having a positive effect and sees the commitment.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction and it needs to continue to change the actions that have been happening here, and affecting too many retailers for too long now," he said.

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