San Francisco tourists visiting the beach for 10 minutes have their belongings stolen, including passports, in a brazen car smash-and-grab.

Two different groups of tourists had their belongings, including their passports, stolen from their car during a broad daylight robbery while briefly visiting a beach in crime-ridden San Francisco.

A family of tourists from Malta were seen calling the police while in the Ocean Beach parking lot after their rental car was vandalized, leaving broken glass scattered on the ground, Instagram video taken last week by Matty Lopez and shared by reporter Arisley T. Pacheco. presented.

When Lopez approached the family, who seemed shocked by the incident, he asked an anonymous woman: “What happened? “You went to the beach for five minutes.”

The woman then replied that they were gone for 10 minutes maximum when the daring thieves “took everything we had: passports, cameras, phones, iPads, laptops, luggage, everything.”

He noted that it was only the family’s second day in town and they were already thinking about returning home due to the devastating robbery.

Just five minutes after speaking with her, Lopez found other tourists who had the rear windshield of their car broken, he said in a separate video.

“So I don’t think it’s an isolated incident,” he said, before asking one of the European tourists what happened.

A video posted on Instagram showed the rear windshield of a tourist family’s rental vehicle smashed.Matty Lopez/Instagram

Pictured is a woman in brown sweatpants and zebra-striped pants explaining what happened.A Maltese woman said they had been gone for no more than 10 minutes when the robbery took place. Matty Lopez/Instagram

One man responded that while they were gone, the thieves took their luggage and a backpack.

The videos were posted to Instagram last Thursday, but it’s unclear if that’s when the thefts occurred.

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The Post contacted the San Francisco Police Department for more information.

Many attributed the incidents to rising crime rates in Bay City, with one Instagram user asking, “Why don’t people learn not to visit California?”

Another said it’s “sad that you can’t turn your back on a person.” [second]”, lamenting that San Francisco “used to be a tourist mecca, now it is becoming the forgotten city”.

And a third simply said, “You can’t leave anything in your car anymore.”

In August, the San Francisco Police Department reported nearly 1,670 vehicle thefts, contributing to nearly 10,000 vehicle thefts.

The woman appeared distraught over the incident with her head bowed and her hand over her face.The unnamed woman seemed distraught over the incident and said she and her family would likely return home after just two days due to the incident. Matty Lopez/Instagram

Criminals often engage in “bipping and boosting,” a process in which they break car windows, grab what they can, and speed off, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which said thieves could often target multiple vehicles. parked in a single day.

He noted that tourists often make attractive victims because they travel with luggage or buy expensive items that they keep in their rental cars.

But even as the number of car thefts skyrocketed over the years (with 2,500 car thefts reported per 100,000 residents in 2020), the number of arrests decreased.

A 2016 report attributed the rise in car thefts that began in 2011 to the police force decentralizing its investigative units as it moved toward “community policing.”

The Civilian Grand Jury that commissioned the report believed that the model, in which officers are assigned to patrol a specific neighborhood, made the department “ineffective” in stopping organized gangs that commit car thefts throughout the city.

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These groups were estimated to be responsible for 70 to 80 percent of all incidents.

The glass of another vehicle was also smashed.The glass of another vehicle was also broken.Matty López/Instagram

Law enforcement officials also told the Chronicle they believe low arrest rates are contributing to an influx of auto thefts as Police Chief Bill Scott focuses the force’s efforts on more violent crimes.

He announced Aug. 24 that the police department would increase visible patrol personnel and place bait cars around theft hotspots to deter auto thefts.

But Steve Tull, a former Oakland police captain who became the district attorney’s lead investigator, told the Chronicle: “As soon as we get one group out, another one shows up.”

He suggested the best way to combat auto thefts is to have law enforcement agencies organize a regional task force.

City officials and car rental companies could also convince residents and tourists to stop leaving items in their cars, as they did in 2017 and 2018.

Pictured is a San Francisco Police vehicle.Law enforcement officials blamed the lack of arrests for the increase in these car thefts.David G. McIntyre

In 2017, San Francisco launched its Park Smart campaign, in which city workers posted theft awareness signs and distributed leaflets at theft hotspots.

The following year, car thefts fell nearly 20%, the outlet reported.

In 2018, the San Francisco Police Department also partnered with the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency to reduce car thefts at the Sutter-Stockton Garage.

He installed fencing, lighting and surveillance cameras and posted signs warning people about thefts. As a result, thefts dropped by 38% in just a few months, according to the Chronicle.

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But in a July 2023 press release, supervisor Dean Preston said the status of the program was unclear.

And when asked by a Chronicle reporter about the campaign on Aug. 24, Police Chief Scott acknowledged that the city should be “more aggressive” in raising awareness about car thefts, as it did under the Park campaign. Smart.

“We need to ramp that up again,” he told reporters.

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