Someone took the San Francisco “Batman” analogy to its full fruition, with a mask and everything in an attempt to deter car break-in culprits, but was arrested for allegedly brandishing a non-lethal firearm.
We wish we could embed the infamous 2019 tweet from the day after Chesa Boudin was elected DA, where a a startup bro declared that since SF has “a number of very fit, technically-brilliant billionaires,” then “If any place was going to create Batman, it's San Francisco.” But alas, that tweet has been deleted.
But the spirit lives on. KGO reported this morning on a masked vigilante in Fisherman’s Wharf who anonymously calls himself “Boots.” This fellow wears a ski mask and carries what KGO calls a “non-lethal weapon that looks like a gun,” in hopes of deterring car break–in perpetrators.
"The criminals are getting to know us. I wouldn't call it an organized anything. It's just concerned citizens," Boots told KGO, "Every day is a small victory. You chase them off from one corner. You chase them off from this street."
But KGO later revealed in that report that Boots had been arrested Wednesday for the misdemeanor charge of brandishing an imitation firearm.
"We don't recommend anyone doing that,” SFPD officer Robert Rueca told the station. “We understand everyone's frustration. Officers are frustrated and taking the number of police reports regarding auto burglaries occurring throughout the city. However there is a system in place to do that."
Lance Evander, who goes by ‘Boots,’ patrols Fisherman’s Wharf with a fake gun to scare off potential thieves. https://t.co/Y9Fn43APaJ— The San Francisco Standard (@sfstandard) July 14, 2023
A few hours after KGO published their report, the SF Standard had their own report alleging Boots’s real identity was Lance Evander, owner of a social club called Club Urban Diversion. But that report also notes that “Evander denied he was the vigilante known as Boots when informed his name would be published in connection with the imitation firearms arrest.”
Ironically, SFist had previously reported on Club Urban Diversion Club in February, for promoting the annual Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight as an event requiring membership, when it is in fact a long-standing free flash mob event.
KGO adds that “According to SFPD's incident data, on average there are 67 thefts from vehicles every day in San Francisco.” Supervisor Dean Preston has called for a hearing among city agencies on car break-ins, which is expected to be held after City Hall’s August recess.
Image: Warner Bros.