May 4, 2023 | 9:49
Twitter CEO Elon Musk has lamented that downtown San Francisco feels “post-apocalyptic” now that businesses have fled due to rampant crime.
Early Thursday morning, Musk responded to a Twitter thread discussing Nordstrom’s closing of two stores in San Francisco at Westfield Mall.
The mall’s owner, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said in a statement that major stores like Nordstrom, Whole Foods and Walgreens had fled the city center due to “unsafe conditions” caused by “a lack of enforcement against endemic criminal activities”.
“So many stores closed in downtown SF. Feels post-apocalyptic,” Musk tweeted.
Musk has been candid about crime in San Francisco, where Twitter’s headquarters are located.
After the shocking murder of tech executive Bob Lee, who was fatally stabbed in what was supposed to be a safe, upscale neighborhood, the billionaire says San Francisco’s “violent crime” problem “is horrendous”.
Statistics show that San Francisco ranks below other major US cities for homicides, with around 6.9 homicides per 100,000 residents.
That’s less than St. Louis, Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Chicago, Oakland, Minneapolis, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, Austin, and Washington, D.C.
Other forms of violent crime such as rape and assault have also remained relatively stable in San Francisco over the past four years, the data shows, while murders have increased slightly.
Property crimes, on the other hand, have risen sharply since 2019.
However, some experts like Charles “Cully” Stimson of the Heritage Foundation say that police-reported data does not paint a complete picture of the crime situation in San Francisco, as many crimes go unreported because the district attorney district failed to enforce the law.
“Crime is worse than the data shows,” Stimson told Fox News Digital last month. “People don’t report these crimes because when you have a prosecutor who’s pro-criminal and isn’t going to enforce the law, the cops aren’t going to come out and arrest somebody when they know the case isn’t going to happen. will not be documented.”
Stimson harshly criticized former San Francisco district attorneys George Gascón and Chesa Boudin, who between 2011 and 2022 stopped prosecuting retail thefts under $1,000.
Boudin was ousted in a recall election in July 2022, while Gascón was later elected as the Los Angeles County District Attorney.
“You’ve seen the videos of people getting into the five-finger cut, walking into Target, walking into Nordstrom Rack…and just walking out during the day with $950 worth of stuff,” Stimson said. “They refused to pursue anything.”
With crimes going unpunished, customers, businesses and employees said they felt unsafe in San Francisco.
Before the Whole Foods store on Market Street closed in April, workers said they were threatened with weapons and made more than 560 emergency calls over incidents involving vagrants, drug use and violence , reported the New York Times.
The National Retail Federation’s 2022 Retail Security Survey ranked San Francisco/Oakland as the second hardest-hit metropolitan area for theft in 2020 and 2021, behind Los Angeles.
New York finished third while Houston placed fourth.
“The philosophy that led to this grim outcome will be the end of civilization if it is extended to the world,” Musk said.