Yacht And Houseboat Raids ROCK San Francisco Bay Thanks To Biden's Border Policies

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 27 September 2023 11:59 PM
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Burglaries targeting yachts and houseboats in the Oakland-Alameda Estuary have surged, prompting comparisons to the pirate movie "Captain Phillips."

The thieves not only steal valuable items but also sink the ships or discard the remnants of the plundered boats in the Oakland Harbor or along its shorelines. Dan Hill, a resident of the 800-foot waterway, estimates that each attack costs owners thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

The boating community, feeling the impact of these crimes, has discussed arming themselves due to jurisdictional questions and a decline in law enforcement staffing levels. The Alameda side of the estuary is a popular boating area in San Francisco Bay, known for its pleasant weather and beautiful surroundings. However, since the summer, the presence of homeless encampments in and around Oakland has disrupted the lives of residents.

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Hill describes the situation, saying, "We're in this little lagoon area, where the water comes in. There's a condo complex, beautiful parks. We started to see homeless people camping out there. That's never happened before. That being said, these guys are finding old abandoned boats, stealing them, and anchoring out illegal boats. And they're taking dinghies and riding around and stealing stuff off people's boats."

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Hill recounts his personal encounter with the harbor bandits after he and a friend chased them across the harbor. "Our friend confronted this guy because he looked super suspicious, and he called me and said they are coming your way," Hill said. "We saw him come by, and I jumped in my dinghy with my wife, and we chased him. He was much faster than us. We lost him. Turns out it was the boat stolen from the Alameda Community Sailing Center, which had four boats stolen from them."

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To address the escalating crimes, the Alameda Police Department is collaborating with the Oakland Police Department and the Coast Guard, which has a base in the Oakland-Alameda Estuary. This regional approach involves increasing patrols and cracking down on these offenses. Alameda Police Chief Nishant Joshi explains, "In the waterways, it's very difficult to draw a line. There are no roadways or fence lines, so we all have a shared interest, much like crime as a whole, to deal with this as a regional approach."

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Due to a lack of its own marine unit and a significant reduction in police department staffing, Alameda Police are working closely with Oakland PD, which has a marine unit, to ensure continuous surveillance of the area. Joshi emphasizes the importance of these partnerships, stating, "We have officers that are trained to handle marine patrols, and we stepped up a standing additional patrol in our marinas."

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Alameda, an island city with a population of just under 80,000, is considered one of the best suburbs to live in, according to niche.com. The city offers residents an urban suburban mix feel, with numerous amenities such as bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. The public schools in Alameda are also highly rated. However, it stands in stark contrast to its neighboring city of Oakland, which has been grappling with a growing homeless crisis, making it "unlivable" according to a neighborhood advocate.

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Residents believe that the thieves responsible for the burglaries are coming from Oakland. Joshi acknowledges this theory but clarifies that the police department has not conducted an in-depth analysis to identify the specific group responsible for these crimes. He suggests that individuals in desperate situations may turn to crime as a means of survival.

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While it is too early to determine the impact of increased patrols and crackdowns, Joshi mentions a recent arrest on the Oakland side but none on the Alameda side. Hill, on the other hand, believes that the thefts have somewhat subsided, although he hasn't personally witnessed the increased patrols. It took months of advocacy, including attending municipal meetings, sending letters and making calls to officials, and leveraging social media and news outlets to bring attention to the issue.

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Hill, who moved to Alameda with his family a few years ago, describes the initial difficulties in involving law enforcement. He characterizes the situation as frustrating, but the efforts of the community have finally led to some progress in addressing the problem.

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