February 11, 2018

IS CALIFORNIA STARTING TO CIRCLE THE DRAIN?

I was the victim of a clever gang of organized car burglars in the Bay Area who are using sophisticated scanners to copy and boost the key-fob signal for recent model keyless entry and ignition cars. Once you latch on to the signal, the car door unlocks at the touch of your hand, as people with such models know. (I learned about this security flaw subsequently as looked into how this could have happened.) All of the restaurants and retail establishments in my neighborhood have posted printed signs saying “leave no valuables in your car; frequent car thefts in the area.” I have taken electronic countermeasures against this happening again.

This kind of activity is epidemic in the Bay Area right now. There were 30,000 car thefts reported in San Francisco last year (much higher in the Bay Area as a whole). The police are doing very little about it.

Read the whole thing, which includes a lengthy Twitter thread (which would have made a much more coherent blog post, alas) written by someone who “runs a van rental business in San Francisco, about the incredible indifference of the San Francisco police to this problem. It’s quite long, but I reproduce the whole thing here to make it easier to get through.”

As someone who attended NYU in the late 1980s when “No radio, nothing valuable in car” signs were all the rage, the above post by Steve Hayward has a sense of déjà vu about it; recall Kyle Smith’s article in the New York Post at the end of the Bloomberg era on the bad old days, headlined, “NYC, July 1993.”

No matter how badly the Bay Area is circling the drain, I’d love to be wrong, but I can’t see a clone of Rudy Giuliani winning in San Francisco anytime soon.

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