Crime Trends in South San Francisco

South San Francisco, CA  August 3, 2022

Thieves are getting more brazen working during the day while neighbors are outside, whether it is stealing catalytic converters, randomly going through parked cars, or attempting to enter a residence – we all need to be more aware of those in our neighborhood. SSFPD will host a virtual Town Hall Monday on this issue – details HERE.


Monday, around noon, our South San Francisco neighbors were alarmed to see someone opening their car door which was parked in front of their home. While they normally keep all their vehicles locked, this afternoon it was left open while they were in their house. One of the residents quickly went outside to see what was happening only to find an elderly man inside the doorway of the vehicle. When the elderly man saw the homeowner, he closed the door and continued walking down the street as though nothing had happened. Another resident of the home saw the elderly man walk down the street, again trying the doors of vehicles he passed, until he realized he was being watched and left the area.


Cars on the road

Neighbors happened to notice someone opening their car door, which is usually locked – They share this as a reminder and a warning.

Our neighbors did report this to police and shared footage from their security camera. “I just want to promote awareness… an old man was walking around our neighborhood and trying to open car doors” our neighbor said. “I believe with the intention of getting valuable items.”


Two cars and a man

Upon seeing the resident come out to their car, the elderly man closed the vehicle door and continued on down the street as though nothing happened. If you recognize this person, please contact SSFPD – a report has been filed.


There appears to have been an increase of property crimes all over, and within our own City as well. “Everyone can be aware or can be on a look out with their cars and valuables” our neighbor advised.


*Another neighbor, after reporting a property crime incident to the police, said she heard ten cars were stolen the night before. Criminals are getting more and more brazen by the hour, even in broad daylight when people are home and out and about. “My converter was ripped out in broad daylight at 10:30 am! This is after our van was stolen by the same thieves only hours before!” said our neighbor who lives on Larch Avenue in the Sterling Terrace neighborhood, near Sign Hill.  “There were lots of kids were around, it’s getting dangerous and I think our neighbors need to be aware of what’s going on!”


The neighbor went on to say, when she reported this crime she learned of others having similar issues. “During attempted theft, in another neighborhood, someone caught them in the act and when they tried to stop the thieves they ran into him with their car. The thieves left only to come back later and rip out their converter anyway!”



So, while many of us stay vigilant during night hours with possible extra security/ lights/ etc, we are seeing daytime crimes happening more often. “We believe the thieves were parked and watching from up the street, neighbors and hubs were coming and going” they said, “And they waited for everyone to be inside. The video shows it only took them about 20 seconds to have it out and drive off!”


Two cars on the road


Our Larch Avenue neighbor further explains with this shared photo above

“This is my car, theft happened today at 10:30am via time stamp on video (above), my 5yr old grandson and, neighborhood children missed running into them by 3 minutes!
Plus our work van was stolen from our driveway just hrs. before, at 2:30am.
The van was recovered from the Bayview Hunters Point area and was completely emptied of all tools and equipment, at least 10k worth!
I wish I could zoom in, you can see how converter and muffler were violently ripped from my car.”


*And again this week, a third neighbor shares their security camera caught two people, a man and a woman, attempting to enter their backyard at 6:30pm. “They came from across the street” that neighbor reported. “And they attempted to get in through one side gate yet were unsuccessful. They then walked past the front door and attempted to get into our second side gate. “


A neighborhood with many cars

This couple, unknown to the resident, attempted to enter their yard yet extra locks made their attempt unsuccessful.


Neighbors are understandably anxious over these current trends and continue to share with one another photos and videos to help alert each other.


A couple in the yard

Persistent, when one gate was too securely looked, the suspect attempted to open another gate, while the woman was looking out. Again the attempts were unsuccessfully


“There is no reason why they or anyone would need to get into our yard” the frustrated resident said. “And after they were unsuccessful on their second attempt they headed up the block!”


If either of these people look familiar to you, or if you have seen them elsewhere, please contact South San Francisco Police.


In response to this increasing crime trend, SSFPD Chief Scott Campbell, along with Mayor Mark Nagales, will be hosting a VIRTUAL Town Hall event via ZOOM on Monday August 8th, 6-8pm, to address this situation. {MORE INFO CLICK HERE}

Local stores and malls are reporting more ‘in your face thefts’ where the thieves just don’t care what they are doing, who is watching, or that what they are doing is wrong. They just walk through as though they are shopping stashing items on them or in their bags – and walking out, while some will threaten violence if anyone attempts to deter them.
Another local resident, tired of the theft of catalytic converters, has established a  petition asking for like minded folks to sign and share, Bust the Catalytic Converter Thieves. CLICK HERE for PETITION
For 2+ years now Catalytic Converters have been stolen at a very high rate in California due to valuable metal inside. Toyota Prius has been a huge target, older Honda Accords with the SULEV engine/exhaust system have been targeted at high rate. Many other vehicles have been hit as well. These Catalytic converter thieves can cut off the catalyst and be gone in about 2mins or so.
It’s time for our state government and local governments to work together with the police to bust these people who are ripping off the converters from us and selling them. Since they are stealing and selling a emissions device that would cause the vehicle to pollute more until the catalyst is replaced, you would think the CA government would crack down big time on these thieves causing more emission pollution. A sting could easily be setup with a few Prius parked and a few police / undercover ready to roll and put a end to this.
If you feel it’s time for state and or local governments to act , let your voice be heard. Sign and Share!  CLICK HERE for PETITION
In 2013, South San Francisco was being hit hard by catalytic converters thefts, proving this type of crime has been an issue for over a decade, off and on. MORE INFO
In August of 2020 the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office warned of the uptick in these thefts, offering preventative tips, which really are not doable for many. Most neighbors do not have a garage and parking in well light areas has not been a deterrent. {MORE INFO}
In 2021 Councilmember Flories helped create an opportunity for residents to have their catalytic converters etched with identification which might help with recovery, if found. {MORE INFO}
In August 2021 The South San Francisco Police arrested a suspect for multiple charges, including possession of 3 stolen catalytic converters along with burglary tools (MORE INFO)
Today, the Pacifica Police Department announced they arrested two suspects connected to potential catalytic converter thefts.
 A press release from City of PacificaA contact information of Kirk Stratton
Consumer Reports state catalytic converter theft rose 325 percent nationwide between 2019 and 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and this trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.Recently, over $12M of these stolen devices were found in Texas and a crime ring was busted. And in May 2022 Phoenix police reported 1,200 converters stolen.

Have you found a way to reduce your risk of being a victim?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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[…] More on crime trends in South San Francisco CLICK HERE […]

1 year ago

Allow higher fences in the front yards. Up to 5 feet rather than just 3 feet. Brighter street lighting. Those that don’t like the lighting can get black out curtains and close them at night. Cameras in areas being hit by crime and at least in all intersections. Pay people to monitor them. It is done in other countries. Assist those that wish to install “Ring” type cameras or solar motion lights. Provide funds for installation and instructions for those that may be unable to afford them and/or don’t know how to use them. Increased penalties for car and catalytic converter thefts and all crimes in general. Monitor recycling centers for stolen catalytic converters. Monitor Craigslist and other selling sites for tools being sold. Police sponsored events that citizens can attend to learn what to do to prevent being victimized. Those that are home during the day…Report suspicious activity. Be aware and nosy.

steve m
steve m
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura

ok sounds good . do you have a issue with me keeping a loaded gun?
guess I will defend myself. maybe get a guard dog as well. good plan.
build a wall around the house. that will look great. just like biden’s
street lighting does suck. stupid energy efficient junk. thought bulbs where
burning out. SSF PD is good at coming out to calls. think I will just call them .
and hope the justice system does there job. keep repeat offenders off the street.
sorry but some of those ideas are silly . got a good laugh anyway. thanks
some are fine. don’t get the tool thing? break in tools? ban crowbars? yes on the
monitoring the recycling places ! been saying it forever. nothing has changed.
I am sure they take then to San Francisco they probably do not monitor.
criminals always find a go around somehow . they will bring a step stool
to get over the 5ft. fence . hell I’m old and can probably do it without.

steve m
steve m
1 year ago

that is what you get when you have idiot’s congress (democrats) pushing to de-fund
get rid of police. I blame the media . light on crime DA’S make these people more
brazen. they look like CNN MSNBC watchers. Biden induced inflation is making it worse.
making people desperate. all though these people don’t look desperate ? how about
the old guy? don’t care how old he is he would not of liked how I dealt with him !
what a creep. my neighbor had the camper shell window broken in a failed attempt
to rip off tools from his truck. lucky for them I did not wake up. right outside my window
something should be done about the catalytic converter problem. like making it harder to
recycle them. put a under cover agent to police the metal recycle places. like ZARC
ever see the creeps in line down there? leave a cop car parked out front as a deterrent ?
it is turning into the Wild West. people are going to take the law into there own hands.
can count on super liberal California to hold criminals accountable.

Minnie Mouse
Minnie Mouse
1 year ago
Reply to  steve m

I think Texas is calling you…Feel free to move if this is not the state for you. Or, you can have some pride in all that Cali does well for its residents and the fact that it has the 5th largest economy in the WORLD.

steve m
steve m
1 year ago
Reply to  Minnie Mouse

too bad mrs. mouse gonna stay and complain . cali. does not do shit for retired life long residents. except make it unaffordable. many of my middle age friends have left. I should leave but won’t . sorry I will stay around and be a thorn in your side . have a nice day . pissed off 59 year old resident. get out of your liberal bubble. thing are horrible here . I don’t get you people . what does cali. do well?
i’m all ears. name one i dare you. guess you like crime and junkies . that’s cool.

steve m
steve m
1 year ago
Reply to  Minnie Mouse

and if you where not aware some of the biggest company’s are leaving to places like Texas . Tesla for one, oracle. amazon. ect… wake up.
unless there is a change in sacramento we will turn into a third world
state. it’s already looking like it. we won’t be the 5th largest economy for long.
same thing happened to Detroit Michigan when the car company’s left.
a once prosperous state. part of that was making crappy car’s . mostly
due to the government imposing there will. that is a whole other conversation.
other than the mild weather what is so great? cali does not do squat.
except cleaning out the homeless when people complain . only to show up
else where. kick the can down the road. that is all they are good for .
don’t come up with real solutions. like arrest people and hold them accountable.
not let them out the next day to re-offend. unless it happens to you I guess
you think things are super. lost my pride in California . it is a laughing stock.
when friends and family visit that left decades ago say what happened ?
I guess once you lived here long enough you kind of get used to it.
especially if your not paying attention. maybe get out of the house more?

1 year ago
Reply to  Minnie Mouse

Most democrats are for social programs. People that obtain assistance for mental health concerns, drug addiction, jobs and CPS interventions that require parents to attend counseling can lower crime. Ya’ can’t just lock everyone away. It does not mean that we want criminals to get away with the crimes that they commit. Democrats don’t want to defund the police. That is a myth. Police officers would love for social workers to respond to non dangerous calls for those with mental health concerns. And Biden did not induce inflation. Covid and the resulting supply chain issues did. The oil companies made billion dollar profits. There are 1.8 jobs open for every available worker. Biden is trying to have corporations pay their fair share of taxes. Everyone should vary their news sources and subscribe to those sources that do not have an agenda or commentary.

steve m
steve m
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura

ok think what you want . trust the government if you want.
and the empty suit. never had a job. been wrong on every
foreign policy issue and has no clue how to balance a check book.
the most incompetent administration in my lifetime. ship of fools.
left billons of dollars worth of equipment in the Middle East .
arming the enemy. put his neck on the oil company’s to force
the new green deal b.s. you can believe his crap . it’s a free
country. even when he can put a coherent sentence together
I don’t agree with it. tax and spend on nonsense. sure sounds like
a plan. tell that to my 401K I worked for that money . i didn’t
steal it. unless you enforce low level crimes it can escalate
into high level crimes. starts out slow . starts with a child stealing
bubble gum from the super market then go on to car theft . mostly bad
parenting. I knew I would get would get whooped . some people
can’t be reformed . the ones that can turn it around that is great.
I am all for criminal justice reform. it has to be earned . even
the most hardened criminals can be reformed . sorry but
that loud young not serious congress people do chant defund
the police. maybe that is not what they mean? but that is the message
they send. it’s a bad look. sure they have armed security you don’t.
I don’t trust any news source . I have my own mind . listen to
the b.s. and make my own conclusions . 80% is all lies.
some obvious tabloid nonsense . mostly opinions . not news
I turn nearly all of it off.

1 year ago
Reply to  steve m

You lost us within your first sentence.

steve m
steve m
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura

ok then if the democrats are for social programs where are they?
they control 100% California. they are not doing a thing about it.
a lot of those people don’t want help . they are happy living on
government handouts. drugs / free needles and all. they want to keep them
stoned I guess. I agree these people need a hand up. but not a
hand out. the top 1% pay 90% of the taxes already. ya good idea
put the biggest corporations out of business . they create the jobs.
money is mobile they will just leave the country like they have been for
years. Biden is not going to create jobs . what kind ? for china yes.
I am not loyal to any party . but the democrat party .the loud one’s
anyway . do want to defund the police . there words not me. the young
stupid one’s . not serious people. send a shrink out to calm down
someone strung out on drugs or mentally sick ? willing to go with
that a guess. rolling eyes. see if it works. sorry but inflation is on Biden period.
did you not see the debates ? he said he wanted to transition away from oil and gas. one of the times he told the truth. he canceled pipelines canceled
leases ect . has his foot on there neck. won’t let them produce here.
not as much as we need anyway. he would rather beg the Middle East .
it is intentional . in an attempt to run the county on renewables. won’t
work . not now . maybe never. Europe tried it . they had to go back.
except France that has 80% nuclear. but are elected officials won’t
do it. no money in it for them /china / and there donors a guess?
or the whole 3-mile island disaster ? it is much safer now. but
what do I know? just dumb dumb with SSF a high school diploma .
smart enough to know when I’m being lied to. Biden is dumb.
always has been . even in prime time. I have my own mind and
don’t trust any news source 100% , just wade through the lies /
opinions and make up my own mind. all I know is there is a
whole Bunch of dummies and crooks running things. ship of fools.
if you believe the these people. that’s fine. opinions vary.

steve m
steve m
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura

thats fine . who is us ? carry on.


[…] Story continues […]

1 year ago

What is the location/street(s) of the area where the elderly man was attempting to open vehicle doors?