“My car was broken into right in front of City Hall on Tuesday,” Supervisor Ahsha Safai wrote on Twitter, along with a picture of his shattered rear window.
Safai told Fox News Thursday night that he’d lived in the area for decades and never had his car broken into before.
“I think theres a certain level of desparation on the people that are doing this,” he said. “It wasn’t like there was something in my car worthwile.”
San Francisco police statistics show a rise in burglaries of over 56% this year to date compared to last, along with a rise in motor vehicle thefts of nearly 20%, even as violent crimes have gone down.
Nothing in the vehicle was stolen, he said, and he’d only had some kitty litter and a bag inside. But rain made surveillance video of the crime fuzzy, he said, making it difficult to identify the suspect.
And with break-ins on the rise, he’s already been pushing for reforms in the Golden Gate City.
“I had just called for a hearing to ask our district attorney, our police chief, probation and others to come and talk to us about the increase in theft and crime and how we can begin to help protect our commercial corridors….and then I come out to my car and my car is broken into,” Safai said.
When a critic on Twitter asked the Democratic lawmaker why he didn’t take public transportation or ride a bike to work, the supervisor said he uses those options as often as he can but had to take his kids to practice and attend community events.
In a phone interview with Fox News Thursday evening, Safai said that an overwhelming majority of the city’s repeat offenders had addiction issues.
“I feel like a really strong possibility that the person that broke into my car, we can almost predict, had some substance abuse issue,” he said.
In a recent city hearing on recidivism and substance abuse, he said lawmakers learned that 75% of prior offenders within the last year had underling substance abuse issues.
Before the break-in of his vehicle, he had already proposed a community-based sentencing alternative for those offenders that would give them a path to recovery through abstinence rather than probation or incarceration and no actual treatment, he said.
He added that his proposal would greatly differ from other “harm reduction” models that would allow addicts to try and ween themselves off of substances on their own.
“This is a pure abstinence-based model,” he said. Certain offenders would be given sentencing alternatives and sent to a halfway house-type facility where they would receive treatment.
“Where they’re living until people are able to get their lives clean, back on the road to recovery,” he said.
Meanwhile, San Francisco’s district attorney, Chesa Boudin, is facing a recall campaign amid accusations his “soft-on-crime” policies have contributed to the spike in lawbreaking.
Safai, the vice chair of the Budget Committee, said he plans to keep pushing for reforms.
He added that the mayor is supportive of his proposal.
Boudin “needs to be a partner” as well, he said.
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