I recently became a crime victim for one of the few times in my life. My car was burgled while I was up in the Bay Area on my weekly sojourn to the Peoples Republic of Berkeley. I say “burgled” rather than “broken into,” because there was no smashed window, or picked lock, nor did I leave the car unlocked. Rather, I was the victim of a clever gang of organized car burglars in the Bay Area who are using sophisticated scanners to copy and boost the key-fob signal for recent model keyless entry and ignition cars. Once you latch on to the signal, the car door unlocks at the touch of your hand, as people with such models know. (I learned about this security flaw subsequently as I looked into how this could have happened.) All of the restaurants and retail establishments in my neighborhood have posted printed signs saying “leave no valuables in your car; frequent car thefts in the area.” I have taken electronic countermeasures against this happening again.
This kind of activity is epidemic in the Bay Area right now. There were 30,000 car thefts reported in San Francisco last year (much higher in the Bay Area as a whole). The police are doing very little about it.
I recently came across this astonishing Twitter thread from someone named Sharky Laguana, who runs a van rental business in San Francisco, about the incredible indifference of the San Francisco police to this problem. It’s quite long, but I reproduce the whole thing here to make it easier to get through:
Meanwhile, the exploding homeless population in San Francisco (and around the entire state actually) is starting to affect the tourism and convention business. Some convention planners are now avoiding San Francisco because the environs are getting so unpleasant. Forget Trump’s s***hole countries: there’s now an interactive map that alerts you to locations in San Francisco with high amounts of human excrement on the streets and sidewalks.
SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – The number of people packing up and moving out of the Bay Area just hit its highest level in more than a decade. . . the number one place in the country for out-migration is now, right here.
[One person leaving] cites crowding, crime and politics as the reasons for her own exodus. “We don’t like it here anymore. You know, we don’t like this sanctuary state status and just the politics here,” she said. She plans to sell her home for about $1 million, buy a much larger place near Nashville for less than half that and retire closer to family and friends.
Nationwide, the cities with the highest inflows, according to Redfin are Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Nashville.
My old pal Mark Perry notes this from U-Haul truck rental:
(UPDATE: I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking what I did in the way of countermeasures. I was leaving that a little vague on purpose, thinking some of my enemies might suspect me of boobie-trapping my car—a tempting idea!—but my main countermeasure was to procure a “Faraday Bag”—look them up online—which blocks RFID signals, into which I put my key the moment I leave my car, especially out and about. My second level of security when at my Bay Area townhouse is then to put the whole thing in my microwave oven, which also blocks electromagnetic signals, of course. Your fridge or freezer also work I am told.)