The Atlantic comes out specifically focused on the staggering number of smash-and-grab car burglaries in San Francisco. Conor Friedersdorf had the same reaction to
King Candy's Supervisor Campos' recent New York Times quotes that I did:
Campos’ position is frustrating. (See update here.) The people who want San Francisco’s “smash-and-grab” vandals punished, myself included, do not want “to criminalize people for being poor.” We want to criminalize people for willfully smashing in car windows, stealing personal items, and imposing hundreds of dollars in repairs on victims, most of whom are working people who really suffer from such a loss.
The article goes on to call Campos for his legislation criminalizing victims:
Campos vilified his colleague for saying, “Sometimes people might need to spend six months in jail to think about what they did.” Yet how did Campos react to news that guns are being stolen in some of these smash-and-grab burglaries? He crafted legislation “to require that law enforcement officers as well as civilians who leave guns in parked vehicles in the city secure the weapons in lock boxes or in an enclosed, locked trunk. Failing to secure a gun in a parked car would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail or a $10,000 fine.”
In other words, he wants to punish some of the victims of smash-and-grab burglaries with longer jail sentences than he is willing to give the perpetrators of the crime.
This is obviously a complicated issue, but one thing is certain, more police, stronger enforcement and deterring consequences are needed immediately in this city.