Homeless pirates are now raiding houseboats in San Francisco Bay in the latest criminal enterprise to hit California.
Residents along the Oakland-Alameda estuary told a community meeting last week that boats have been cut loose and floating out to sea.
One woman even told how she rescued another resident on a sailboat in the middle of the night after pirates cut his rigging lines during an argument.
The brazen thieves – whose homeless camps have spilled out of the city – take small motorboats and use them in vandalism attacks on larger ships and houseboats.
During San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission enforcement Wednesday meeting Community members said they had to fight the pirates themselves as police in the Democrat-run city failed to intervene.
Pirates leave looted boats abandoned and covered in graffiti. A resident said she rescued a man after he said pirates cut his sailboat’s line during an argument
Footage captured by a resident shows seafaring bandits driving away and leaving a Bay Area marina. Residents believe the thieves are from the growing homeless population
“The open coastline of the (Oakland-Alameda) estuary is littered with sunken wrecks and abandoned, discarded ships, and crime has risen to truly unbearable levels,” the area’s former harbor master Brock de Lappe told me. Fox News digital.
A woman said she rescued a man on a sailboat in the middle of the night after he said pirates had cut his sailboat’s line during an argument.
“If there had been any wind at that time, I wouldn’t have been able to go out and rescue this young man, who had no engine and wasn’t able to drive that boat,” she said.
This summer, the Bay Area saw an increase in crime on the water. Photos and videos posted online show seafaring bandits on rubber boats speeding through the water at night after their thefts.
‘Several ships have been stolen and plundered. Victims have had to resort to personal confrontation with the criminals to get their property back, without help from the police. Is this an appropriate activity for a 79-year-old senior?’ said the Lappe.
The former harbor master told it KGO that pirates have targeted five different locations along the canal, including Jack London Square, the Jack London Square Aquatic Centre, the Estuary Channel west of the Bayside Hotel, Union Point Park West and Union Point Park East.
Kame Richards of the Alameda Community Sailing Center, an organization that teaches young children to sail, said four of their eight safety boats were stolen and police were slow to respond.
The bandits abandon or sink the boats after using them to commit their crimes
Bay Area residents have resorted to chasing the thieves away as there is little police help
“We can’t imagine any way we could hand over $35,000 boats to thieves and not do anything about it,” Richards said.
Residents said the pirates are coming from the city’s growing homeless population, which is flooding into the waterways.
Considered a suburb of Oakland, Alameda is an island with a population of just under 80,000, according to the U.S. Census.
Alameda Police Department data showed that in August, burglaries increased 18.6 percent compared to last year, and thefts over $400 increased 10.2 percent.
Crime is soaring in the surrounding cities of Oakland and San Francisco.
In the Bay Area, a store clerk was set on fire after trying to stop a homeless shoplifter from stealing.
The latest crime report from the Oakland Police Department shows that this year, thefts are up 34 percent, burglaries are up 38 percent and motor vehicle thefts are up 51 percent.
The new crime wave involves pirates sneaking onto rubber boats and stealing items from boats in the harbour
Thieves use smaller boats to reach marinas with houseboats and yachts, where they loot them and escape on their dinghies
During the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s enforcement meeting, residents noted that the homeless population from surrounding cities is heading toward their shores
The surrounding cities of Oakland and San Francisco have experienced waves of crime and a growing homeless population
Earlier this summer, Oakland police advised residents to reinforce their doors with brackets or a security bar and install security cameras due to an increase in brazen home burglaries.
San Francisco is experiencing nearly 40,000 homeless people and more robberies and motor vehicle thefts reported by police than in the same period last year.
Alameda Police Chief Nishant Joshi said Fox News digital that his department is working with the Oakland Police Department and the Coast Guard to combat maritime crime.
“In the waterways it is very difficult to draw a line, there are no roads or fence lines, so we all have a shared interest, as does crime as a whole, in tackling this as a regional approach,” says Joshi.