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Understaffed San Francisco PD responds to burglary call 15 hours after crime: 'no protection'

The understaffed San Francisco Police Department took nearly 15 hours to respond to a burglary call, setting off criticisms from the victims that residents have "no protection from the city."

"Small businesses in San Francisco are getting squeezed all the time, and we have no protection from the city," Eleanor Hayes, the wife of a bar owner that was robbed last month, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "The message is, ‘You should just be happy it wasn’t worse.’"

The Black Magic Voodoo Lounge on Lombard Street was robbed on Jan. 13, and a neighbor claimed he saw three men jump out of the window of the bar, according to the outlet.

The thieves had managed to steal a stereo speaker and a trumpet worth thousands of dollars, according to the Chronicle. A safe that had been stored in the bar was also found under the window, with the suspects seemingly leaving it behind as they rushed out of the establishment.

After bar owner Joe Vernieri was alerted to the incident, he called police at 1:06 p.m. that same day. However, the dispatcher told him the police were busy, could not respond promptly – and were unable to schedule an appointment so Vernieri could speak with investigators.


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