SF officials pledge action amid rise in late-night burglaries in Chinatown


SAN FRANCISCO – Police in San Francisco are stepping up patrols in the city’s Chinatown, which has been hit by an alarming rash of late-night burglaries and vandalism.

There have been 10 commercial burglaries in the last 45 days in Chinatown, according to the department.

A volunteer muralist was painting plywood outside Dim Sum Corner, which was burglarized Thursday. Surveillance video shows someone throwing a rock at the glass door, before stealing two cash registers around 2 am.

Nearby Begoni Bistro was also hit this week. Someone stole cash and iPads stolen after smashing their way in. 

Calvin Louie is a longtime community member and business owner.

“I’ve never felt so scared in my life walking home at night. In the old days, I used to walk home midnight, 1, 2 o clock in the morning and it’s safe,” said Louie, president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.

“But now, I have to be aware of my surroundings. I got my pepper spray in case someone comes and attacks me.”

At a Far East Cafe dinner to celebrate the promotions of SFPD assistant chief David Lazar and commander Julian Ng Friday evening, crime in the neighborhood was top of mind.

“We got to deal with AAPI hate, we’ve got to deal with vandalism, we got to deal with all these things in our community,” said Lazar on stage.  

SFPD Central Station lieutenant Douglas Farmer said he’s committed to prioritizing the safety of Chinatown, particularly in the overnight hours. He also plans to add plainclothes officers.

“Last night, we had some extra overnight officers and they ended up making a stop on an individual,” he told KPIX 5. “I don’t know if it was related to the break-ins, but it did stop some break-ins. That individual did have some stolen property on him and was arrested.”

SFPD also acknowledged a strong partnership with newly appointed DA Brooke Jenkins.

“For the last two and a half years we’ve sent a message to people in San Francisco and outside of San Francisco that you get a free pass if you commit crime here, and it’s going to take some time for people to figure out that’s no longer the case which I’m trying every day to make very clear,” said Jenkins.

“We’re super hopeful that the new DA is going to be pulling in the same direction we are. Everything points in that direction and it just buoys the spirits of the cops on the street,” added Farmer.

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