Basil Yaqub of Fremont, Calif., visited San Francisco on Saturday with his family to celebrate the purchase of a new car.
After dinner at a restaurant, Yaqub said he parked at the city-owned Union Square garage to allow the children to run around in the square. This was the first trip his family had made to Union Square since before the pandemic, and his kids were excited.
When Yaqub returned to the garage with his wife and children, he found three windows smashed on the new Maserati that he had purchased only the day before. The broken windows chipped the paint, and he said repairs will cost in the $20,000 range. The children’s Switch that was hidden in the trunk was stolen.
“It was really a horrific experience,” he told SFGATE. “I’ve lived here for 22 years and I’ve been going to S.F. for years. I love it, but then this.”
A family friend drove into the city with them and windows on his Lamborghini were also smashed.
Windows were smashed on cars at a Union Square parking garage in San Francisco on June 5, 2021.
“There were eights cars in a row with smashed windows,” Yaqub said. “Our two cars and six others. It was a nice car. It’s the first time in our lives we’ve spent money on a nice car. I wouldn’t be this sad if it was a regular car. I guess it’s part of life.”
Yaqub put his family in an Uber home and drove in his car strewn with shattered glass.
Smashed car windows are a familiar scene in San Francisco, and KGO, which was the first to report this story, pointed out Yaqub represents “one of 6,911 other auto burglary cases reported across the city this year, which is only a one-percent decrease from this time last year.”
The city operates 22 parking garages. The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency confirmed security is reduced as utilization is at only 40% of pre-pandemic levels.
“Out of necessity, we needed to prioritize the staff that provide the most wide-ranging services to our garages,” SFMTA said in a statement. “Security isn’t being replaced, but currently the responsibility has shifted to other staff who maintain our parking facilities. We are focused on tracking the metrics of vehicle break-ins on a daily and weekly basis, and have the ability to bring additional security back on a one-day notice if warranted. It is important to note that our parking operators’ security subcontracts are not terminated, but rather on hold. Vehicle break-ins at city-owned garages remain low.”
SFMTA said the city-owned garages are safer than ever with new lighting, way-finding signs, audible alarms, cameras, gate arms and payment machines with two-way digital intercoms.
“Additionally, behind the scenes is an all-new parking management system and 24/7 command center, connected to every machine,” SFMTA said.
The San Francisco Police Department wasn’t immediately available for comment.