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Business Owners in Sunset Form Safety Network to Fight Crime

Business Owners in Sunset Form Safety Network to Fight Crime 02:07

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- A group of business owners in San Francisco is taking a new approach to fighting property crime in their neighborhoods.

Some businesses on Taraval Street have had their windows smashed in four times over the past 12 months.

At Footprint, a store that sells athletic wear, owner Michael Hsu has surveillance video of two separate break-ins, including one with an unusual burglary tool.

"The first one, they used a blow torch. They torched our front door and bypassed our alarm. They came in and they stole high-end jackets," Hsu told KPIX 5.

In response to property crimes and burglaries in the neighborhood, businesses in Sunset and Parkside have formed the Sunset Safety Network, taking a community organizing approach to crime prevention.

"We're not going to be able to solve our public safety challenges through law enforcement alone. And our police department is not going to be able to solve our public safety challenges by themselves. It's really going to take a partnership with the community," said District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar.

That includes encouraging more business owners to put surveillance cameras up so perpetrators and their getaway vehicles can be covered from all angles, making it easier for SFPD to make arrests.

"Like, if we catch the license plate of a car that perpetrated a crime, we could share that with the police department," said Albert Chow, owner of Great Wall Hardware.

Hsu hopes it prevents more business owners from cleaning up the mess and trying recoup costs.

"The whole community is working together to make Sunset, Taraval a safer corridor. So I'm really happy to see this happening," he said.

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