San Francisco Chronicle ripped for asking if residents should ‘tolerate burglaries’

Social media users wondered if the San Francisco Chronicle had published satire when the outlet asked if residents should start to “tolerate” burglaries as part of their every day life amid a recent crime surge.

San Francisco has seen an increase in shootings, assaults, shoplifting, car break-ins and more in recent months. The city’s Central District, by way of example, experienced a 753% increase in car break-ins from May 2020 to May 2021. More than 150 families were so fearful they even hired private security to protect their property.

The rate of burglaries has been particularly concerning. As of Oct. 31, San Francisco police had received reports of 810 burglaries or attempted burglaries this year in the jurisdiction of the Mission District Police Station, a 13% increase from this time last year, according to the Chronicle.

Homeless woman Tara Lowe hauls her belongings after street cleaning came through to clean Willow Street in the Tenderloin on May 6, 2020, in San Francisco, California. 

Homeless woman Tara Lowe hauls her belongings after street cleaning came through to clean Willow Street in the Tenderloin on May 6, 2020, in San Francisco, California. 
(Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Crime has apparently become so commonplace in the city that the Chronicle asked readers if residents should start to “tolerate” burglaries.

“Residents and city leaders are searching for answers: should they tolerate burglaries as a part of city living, and focus on barricading homes? Should repeat offenders get rehabilitation services, or be incarcerated so they can’t commit more crimes?” the outlet tweeted.

The piece notes the city is in a “quandary” as it tries to pursue criminal justice reform while “debating how to manage rates of property crime that for years have been among the highest in the nation.” While some residents are “appalled” by the crime, others have learned to “grudgingly accept this element of city living.” 

Social media users shook their heads in response, with some asking “what the hell is going on” in the Golden City.

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Others suggested residents take their safety into their own hands.

The city police department reportedly struggled to maintain order while dealing with a shortage of hundreds of officers. Many in law enforcement have decided to retire early amid an uptick in violent crime and calls to defund police departments in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in the summer of 2020. His death sparked a wave of violent riots and protests in major cities throughout the U.S.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2020. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2020. 
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Some in law enforcement, including San Francisco Police Officers Association, have also blamed the carnage on the liberal policies of Mayor London Breed and District Attorney Chesa Boudin. 

“This brazen criminal behavior is endured every single day by San Franciscans and it is the direct result of District Attorney Chesa Boudin and his enablers’ criminals-first agenda,” SFPOA President Tony Montoya said in a statement in June.

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San Francisco isn’t alone in having struggled with an alarming crime wave this year. Murders have increased 16% across major U.S. cities so far in 2021 compared to 2020, a stark report from July showed.

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