CEO robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight fears crime is driving businesses out of San Francisco




Hamid Moghadam knows about the city's crime problem all too well. The CEO of San Francisco-based Prologis was robbed at gunpoint outside of his home, in broad daylight.

"This is a gang that does this all the time and they had targeted me from the parking lot," said Moghadam.

The suspects followed Moghadam to his home in broad daylight.

"A car rushed by, stopped right next to me and two guys jumped out with guns pointed at my face," he said. "It just happened so quickly, honestly, I didn't have time to get scared."

The thieves wanted his watch and they got it, and then got away.

Moghadam wasn't harmed but he was left broken-hearted.

"This city has a special place for us because we started our business here."

He started Prologis four decades ago, turning it into a multi-billion dollar real estate empire with offices around the world.

Moghadam wanted to tell his story to KPIX 5 because on top of this serious rise in crime, he has another concern -- his employees' safety and the concern other companies may decide to leave or not set up shop here in San Francisco.

"When this happened I said 'somebody has to get up and actually say enough is enough' and I decided to do that."

So, he decided to write local and state lawmakers.

"I heard back from the governor right away within a couple of hours and the mayor called," said Moghadam.

But he said everybody is concerned but stuck on how to solve this problem.

"I get all kinds of San Francisco jokes when I travel the world. It's almost embarrassing and that's the perception and that affects tourism and convention business," said Moghadam. "A lot of jobs are involved. Once you go over the tipping point, it becomes very, very difficult to getting it back."

How close are we to 'not getting it back?'

"Pretty close," said Moghadam. "I don' like saying that but it's the honest to goodness truth."

Moghadam says safety should be the top priority. He is part of the executive committee of the Bay Area Council, an economic development association.

"The public is aware changes need to occur and we need to think differently," said president Jim Wunderman. "Our policies need to be different, our actions need to be different."

The Bay Area Council found that more than half of respondents felt San Francisco wasn't safe, with nearly two thirds saying they avoided downtown because of crime.

"We have to solve these things. We are developing a reputational issue as a place not to go to," said Wunderman. "That's not good for the Bay Area so we have to be hard-nosed for action and success.

So how does the city address the crime?

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said it's all about focusing on repeat offenders and getting the message out that San Francisco is getting tough on crime.

"You can't leave Oakland or Santa Clara or San Mateo and come to San Francisco and get away with crime," said DA Jenkins. "The other thing is really partnering with the San Francisco Police Department, jointly working very hard to address the more problematic areas of the city. We cannot have our downtown be flooded with crime, that's where most of our engagement is where our conventions are, so we need to be making sure that we are making strategic decision to address certain bad pocket areas, very publicly."