San Francisco mayor, police chief promise crackdown on crime after bustling Union Square spree – CBS San Francisco

San Francisco (CBS SF) – After Massive surge of retail crime in Union Square On Friday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and SFPD President Bill Scott on Saturday promised changes to come to the area.

The Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco’s Union Square was just one of nearly a dozen retail stores that were hit in a brazen burglary and snatch spree. Police said Burberry, Bloomingdale’s, Jane’s Eyewear, Maxverd Jewelery and Loan and Yves Saint Laurent were all targeted.

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Mayor Breed held a press conference on Saturday afternoon to address the events of the previous day.

“We will be making some changes to Union Square and how cars can access it. There will be limited access in terms of when you arrive in this area,” Post said.

Police Chief Scott said the administration needs to make it more difficult for such mass thefts to occur.

“We have to make it hard for people to do what they did last night. Drag next to a company, smash windows, wipe everything they can carry, get in their cars parked at the curb and leave,” Scott said.

Several stores, including Louis Vuitton, were burgled and/or vandalized on Friday night. Police have arrested eight people so far, and the commander said on Saturday he expects more arrests in the future.

Scott described the detainees as young men, mostly Bay Area residents, some of whom were familiar faces of the SFPD.

“It was orchestrated. I have no doubt that this was not unplanned,” he said. “We have hours and hours of video — including body-worn camera video for traffic. Some of those people who have committed these acts are familiar to us. That’s why I’m confident we will face more arrests.”

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Police had already raised their profile in Union Square for the holiday season. That’s one reason Union Square Alliance CEO Marisa Rodriguez thinks more stores haven’t been hit.

“They were, fortunately, present when all of this happened and were able to respond very quickly,” she said. “We were really happy to see such a great response from our police department, and we’d definitely love to see more.”

On Saturday, the SFPD raised its appearance more than before, with officers seen throughout Union Square. Scott said this will be the norm for the holiday season.

“We will flood this area with police officers for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We will do what we have to do to end this madness.”

Meanwhile, the sound of constant drilling filled the air in Union Square Saturday night, as shoppers took in classic holiday scenes. While there won’t be much window shopping this season at many stores, it wasn’t hard to see San Francisco police officers on nearly every corner.

“Actually, it kind of gave me a sense of relief because they’re clearly visible. They want everyone to know we’re going to be here if something happens,” said Leslie Wilson of Sacramento.

Many of the high-end stores in Union Square that weren’t cluttered on Friday night don’t stand a chance. For example, we found workers riding Dior and Valentino on Saturday.

Samantha Prasad from Modesto was visiting Union Square for the first time in many years. When asked if the recent crime wave will prevent her from returning in the future:

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“Yeah maybe. It’s kind of scary, just being in that scene you know, not knowing what to expect or if it’s safe,” she said.

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