Displaced tenants of the flooded 33 Tehama say that items are being stolen from their rooms — including, allegedly, $1,500 in stolen checks — as their saga drags on into its third month.
Today was supposed to be the day that displaced residents of the flooded 33 Tehama building would see their hotel room reimbursement cut off. And on this day, the building’s owner Hines is taking another small publicity black eye over the current state of affairs there. The San Francisco Business Times reported Wednesday morning that Hines was cited for conducting unpermitted work on the building water system, which flooded a second time last week.
33 Tehama flood major update: Workers caught on camera what appears to be stealing an unknown item off the tenants desk. @kron4news @mattdorsey @honeymahogany @svqjournalist @SFGate @SFMayorsOffice @laura_waxee @LuzPenaABC7 @sfbos @nbcbayarea @sfchronicle pic.twitter.com/dk7TljLCoW— snake (@snidejam) August 16, 2022
But that’s nothing compared to the much bigger black eye of a story that broke a few hours earlier. KGO reports that residents say contractors are stealing items from their rooms, and in some cases, the pilfering has been caught on video. Hines has acknowledged that this has happened. (Residents are currently not allowed in the building, and can only retrieve their items through Hines-approved movers.)
Some of the thefts are disturbingly significant, according to displaced residents. In one case, a tenant says a contractor stole and used her checkbook.
33 Tehama theft and property damage: “ Soooo… we just came by the apartment for the first time in a while. We found something weird had happened in our bedroom closet. Someone has clearly rummaged through our stuff in there. We know that because a handbag had been broken.” pic.twitter.com/FszxVHNtc7— snake (@snidejam) August 16, 2022
"Two fraudulent checks cashed in my account. My bank account, both in the amount of over $1,500 each," resident Stephanie Sunwoo told KGO. "It is really alarming to think that somebody is rummaging through my bedroom through my nightstand, grabs a box full of my checkbooks and now I have deep fears of identity theft."
33 Tehama flood update: Bike theft at 33 Tehama. Tenants discover their bike has been stolen when attempting to pick up their bikes. May evidence of theft as the tenant try to get their stuff moved out of the flooded building. @laura_waxee @LuzPenaABC7 pic.twitter.com/04n997pxMb— snake (@snidejam) August 16, 2022
There are also thefts being reported in the bike area. "Our bike room was completely looted. There are remains of people's bikes. Some people's bikes are completely missing," Sunwoo told KGO.
Hines has released a statement acknowledging the unpleasantness. “It has come to our attention that on August 15, 2022, a contractor who was making repairs in one of the units at 33 Tehama was recorded taking items from the unit,” the company said. “This contractor was terminated immediately. All construction workers at 33 Tehama are licensed, bonded, and insured, and are employees of reputable subcontractors.”
“There are very few allegations of other issues with security in the units,” the statement continued. “While we haven't confirmed the validity of these allegations yet, we have temporarily removed all contractor access to resident units while we work on a solution to increase security measures.”
And if it’s any consolation, they just extended the hotel room reimbursements amidst this mess. “Given that the financial and accommodation support for 33 Tehama residents ends tomorrow August 17, we have extended the financial and hotel accommodation support to tenants who meet certain income qualifications until August 31,” the company said.
Screenshot: @snidejam via Twitter