Another retail store owner has closed their doors in San Francisco and gone public with their complaints about "rampant organized theft," with generalized complaints about the city having descended into "chaos."
Complaints from SF business owners about rampant crime that seems to go unpunished are nothing new at this point. And while things might seem a little calmer out there than they were at certain points in the pandemic, it's still not great for any business with plate-glass windows, or with merchandise that people might want to steal.
Enter Davis Smith, the Salt Lake City-dwelling founder and CEO of Cotopaxi (549 Hayes St.) — which, near as I can tell, specializes in fanny packs and retro-looking outerwear for light hiking — who took to LinkedIn on Tuesday to air his thoughts about how San Francisco has gone to shit.
"It’s sad, but San Francisco appears to have descended into a city of chaos," Davis begins his post. "Many streets and parks are overrun with drugs, criminals, and homelessness, and local leadership and law enforcement enable it through inaction."
"Overrun" might be overstating things a bit, especially when we're talking about Hayes Valley. But Smith goes on to complain about the front window of the store needing to be replaced multiple times until they could install a metal security gate. And of thieves who worked in teams to bum-rush the store even after they'd installed a buzzer on the door to buzz customers in.
"We started keeping the door locked and opening it only for customers, but even then, they’ll have a woman go to the door, and then hiding individuals rush into the store as soon as the door opens," Smith writes.
He reveals a little lack of knowledge of SF in his description of the store's location, saying it's "blocks away from the famous Full House home." I think he means the Painted Ladies on Alamo Square, which we all know were just used for that one exterior shot in the opening credits, and the exterior shot of the Tanners' house was actually way over on Broderick, but I digress.
Smith makes the unsupported claim that the "city recently announced a reduction of police presence in this neighborhood, despite mass-scale crime" — has anyone heard of Hayes Valley being less policed for some reason?
The poor guy had the misfortune to be in the city during the especially chaotic days of the early pandemic, it sounds like, which was the last time he was actually here?
"It makes me sad that I’m now avoiding San Francisco, a city I used to love," Smith writes. "Last time my wife and I went in 2020, a drugged up person ran up to my wife’s face and started screaming some of the most obscene things I’ve ever heard."
He also was apparently the victim of a rental car break-in, having made the amateur move of leaving stuff in the car while it was parked on the street — so sure, he has reason to feel bitter!
Cotopaxi closed its Hayes Valley store on Tuesday, and this is why.
Smith's commentary and the store closure call to mind another recent retail closure, B8ta, the high-end electronics retailer that permanently closed all of its doors earlier this year. B8ta's Hayes Valley location was similarly targeted for rampant thefts, including an armed robbery at gunpoint in February 2021, which prompted the owner to temporarily close two SF locations including that one.