(NationalUSNews.com) — A group of thieves operating in the San Francisco Bay area is robbing various houseboats and yachts, prompting comparisons to the pirates operating in regions like Somalia or South America. The bandits in question are raiding numerous maritime vehicles in the Oakland-Alameda Estuary and are still at large. Each attack can cost owners tens of thousands of dollars in damages, with the thieves sinking the remains of ships or leaving the ships’ remnants on nearby shores after they’ve been plundered.
The ongoing wave of maritime robberies is a relatively new development, starting this summer after several homeless camps were established in the San Francisco Bay area. According to residents who own houseboats and yachts in the area, they might begin arming themselves to deal with the robbers themselves, given the police’s inaction in solving the surge of nautical robberies.
According to residents in the area, the thieves are committing robberies by using small dinghies or abandoned boats to sneak onto yachts and houseboats before stealing valuable items from the owners. So far, no one is being charged with the crimes, and any potential suspects remain at large.
The police in the region aren’t able to do much to prevent the ongoing wave of thefts, but a new ordinance allows authorities to seize illegally anchored boats. The wave of robberies is getting worse, and the crimes are becoming more brazen, as the “pirates” recently robbed a fire-engine boat. Despite the ongoing string of thefts, an immediate solution seems impossible, given the clandestine nature of the crimes.
The increase in boat-related robberies is causing locals to lose faith in the police, prompting some to claim they’ll exercise self-defense against anyone stealing their property. Many residents believe the growing homeless population is responsible and blame city officials for failing to address the rampant homelessness throughout the city. Despite the concern amongst residents regarding the nautical crimes, the pirates responsible will likely remain active for the foreseeable future.
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