Despite this year's uptick in police presence in Union Square, a quick group of thieves managed to raid a high-end store in downtown San Francisco Saturday afternoon, leaving the camera shop Leica with $20K in damages and without $178K worth of products.
'Tis the season for massive Christmas streets in Union Square (lit way too early in November), waves of tourists flooding Fisherman's Wharf, and an increased police presence around luxury stores in downtown. Following last year's brazen emptying of a Louis Vuitton location at 233 Geary Street, SFPD has stacked Union Square with officers to thwart such acts of crime.
Saturday afternoon, four individuals were filmed on surveillance cameras getting out of a gray sedan and stealing bags full of camera equipment from Leica — located just a quarter-mile away from the aforementioned Louis Vuitton store that was ransacked around this time last year.
In a report from ABC7, an ongoing police investigation shows that at least one of the four suspects was wielding a firearm entering the Leica store Saturday, November 26, arond 1:20 p.m.; images of the robbery also show another individual holding a tool; there's a flashing moment in the security footage that shows smashed display cases.
Per the footage shown by the news outlet, the timestamped surveillance video shows the suspects returning to the sedan parked outside less than three minutes later after robbing the store.
It was found that an estimated $178K of high-end camera equipment was stolen from the store; multiple sources told ABC7 journalist Dion Lim that damage to the store totaled around $20K.
The ransacking of Leica comes just a few days after Mayor Breed and SFPD Chief Bill Scott announced the City had introduced additional safety measures for the shopping area to both mitigate robbers (like this one) and bolster shopper experience.
Cue an uncomfortably frustrating fit of ironic sighing.
The case is still active, and SFPD is urging anyone with information to call (415) 575-4444; any tips and details about the crime can be left anonymously.
Photo: Getty Images/Chris LaBasco