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San Francisco Small Businesses Hit With Security, Repair Costs as Petty Thefts Soar

Burglaries and property damage are on the rise in San Francisco, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday (March 20).

“These last two years have been insane,” Terry Asten Bennett, whose family has run Cliff’s Variety Store in the city since 1936, told the media outlet. “It used to be a rare occurrence.”

Recent weeks have seen smashed windows and stolen items, including things like spray paint. As the report noted, sometimes windows were broken for “no apparent reason.”

San Francisco, among the biggest 25 U.S. cities, has seen the highest property-crime rate in four of the most recent six years when data has been available, per the report.

Additionally, the report noted that property crimes declined during the first year of the pandemic — but they were up 13% in 2021, with burglaries now at the highest level since the mid-1990s.

Smashed storefronts have become common enough that the city has rolled out a program to fix them with public money. According to the report, car owners are even leaving notes to deter would-be criminals, saying there’s nothing of value in their vehicles, or simply leaving the windows open to avoid broken glass.

According to criminologists, the high density of retail stores in San Francisco, along with the mix of tourists, commuters and wealthy residents, have made it a big target for thieves, the report noted. In contrast to the city’s long history of progressive politics, some business owners have said they want more of a “law-and-order” approach going forward.

PYMNTS has chronicled the ways crime has been expedited during the pandemic, including how it has impacted cybersecurity.

Read more: Cyber Insurance Sees Price Hikes Ahead as Cyberwar Compounds Fraud Wave

Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, which has made cyber-crime worse in some ways, cybersecurity was already a problem, compounded by the chaos of the pandemic and the worldwide digital shift.

In response to the mounting cybersecurity concerns, more firms are shopping for security solutions, although there are also concerns of cyber insurance prices rising.

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