“Has it been reported stolen? What’s the case#”
“Uh, no not yet, but it meets all the criteria, we have all the docs with us”
So we wait.
The driver goes in to pick up some Korean food.
We wait some more.
We wait some more.
Then the driver gets back in the van and we start following them from a safe distance while I call the police again.
“THIS IS SFPD, WE ARE NOT GOING TO PURSUE YOUR VAN ALL OVER THE CITY”
It’s in caps because he was kinda yelling. I know there’s no point in arguing about this.
“OK I understand, thank you”
Click. He hangs up.
So we follow them. First it goes down to 9th where it makes a left. We speculate it’s going to the Tenderloin.
“Excuse me officer, I might need your help, do you have a minute?”
I wait in the lobby for 15 minutes.
He comes out and asks questions. I’m very upfront about it being a rental car. He goes back inside to ask the sergeant questions.
Then he comes back out.
“But it qualifies as embezzled, can I file a report right now?”
“Do you have all the original paperwork with you on your person?”
“I have PDFs on my phone”
“Sorry, come back tomorrow”
I go back to the car and meet Dave.
We’re pissed, might never see this van again.
We come up with a plan.
We motion the driver to roll down the window.
I’m hanging back a couple feet. Don’t want to be scary or threatening. She rolls the window down.
David: “Are you Linda?”
Linda: “Why are you asking?”
(I point at the police station.)
They are coming, if you are still here you’ll be arrested. If you take off in the van they’ll just arrest you down the street, but if you leave now it’ll be chill”
David asks for the keys, she hands it to him.
Then we watch them unpack all their stuff. Tons of luggage. They were living in the van.
SF is having an explosion of car break-ins right now. Lt. Luke Martin head of the crime task force told me they are often using rental cars as getaway vehicles.
I think there’s a good chance that’s what these guys were doing too.
But I’m not allowed to get any help from the police at all.
We are also forbidden by law from using GPS tracking. It was pure luck I ran into the vehicle.
It’s sad they will get away with it.
But it’s mind blowing that the rules prevent the police from helping.
Criminals KNOW when the police can’t respond *by law* to a crime that is happening in front of them.
Even though we told them the cops were coming they were in no big rush.
That’s it, thank you for reading.