A former harbor master just revealed that modern-day pirates have started to wreak havoc on those who own boats that they use in the San Francisco Bay.
Boat owners who routinely set sail on the San Francisco Bay have been warned to be on the lookout for modern-day pirates.
An Ex-Harbor Master’s First-Hand Account
Former harbor master Brock de Lappe made the stunning revelation about the presence of pirates in the San Francisco Bay during a recent San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission enforcement meeting.
A Big Boat Problem
“Multiple vessels have been stolen and ransacked,” de Lappe said. He also said that “crime has risen to truly intolerable levels” in the area.
The Damage Being Done
de Lappe spoke about how pirates have been patrolling the area and working their way onto yachts, houseboats, and other watercraft in order to pillage and plunder them.
He also touched on how some boats are being taken and even destroyed.
Boat Owners Fight Back
de Lappe said that some boat owners with vessels docked near the Oakland-Alameda Estuary have begun fighting back against pirates.
A Lack of Police Presence
de Lappe pointed out that many of these boat owners have had to do this without the help of local police, including one instance in which an elderly man was forced to face off with pirates. “Victims have had to resort to personally confronting the criminals to recover their property without the benefit of police support,” he said. “Is this appropriate activity for a 79-year-old senior?”
Where Are the Police?
De Lappe and others in the community have criticized local police for not doing more to combat the pirate problem. He said they’ve often been slow to respond to reports of crime in marinas situated near the San Francisco Bay.
More Police Complaints
The owner of the Alameda Community Sailing Center wrote a letter to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
He revealed that four safety boats worth up to $35,000 each have been stolen or damaged by pirates.
Why Can’t the Cops Help?
The owner of the Alameda Community Sailing Center also shared the advice the Alameda Police Department gave him when he reported his boats missing. “The response we received from them was that they could do nothing,” he wrote, “and a warning not to approach the perpetrators if we located our boats.”
The Police Respond
The Alameda Police Department chief has come out and downplayed the severity of the issue. He said incidents at marinas in Alameda make up less than 1% of the total crime.
Who Are These Modern-Day Pirates?
Although the Alameda Police Department chief hasn’t identified the pirates in San Francisco Bay as a major problem yet, he also acknowledged that the APD isn’t sure who is behind the boat-related attacks that have occurred.
A Homeless Camp Could Be to Blame
There has been speculation that the pirates who are causing chaos in San Francisco Bay may be part of an Oakland homeless camp.
A recent report revealed an increase in the number of small boats docked near this camp in the Union Point Park section of the city.
Can Oakland Police Do Anything?
The Oakland Police Department might not be able to offer up much help in the investigation into the crimes being committed in and around marinas in Alameda.
The OPD has just one officer on its staff trained to drive a police boat.
No Meaningful Arrests Made Yet
As the Alameda Police Department and Oakland Police Department decide how to deal with this situation, there hasn’t been much progress made when it comes to stopping the pirates.
There haven’t been any major arrests made related to the recent crime wave.
Coast Guard to the Rescue?
The one good piece of news for boat owners is that the Coast Guard was recently called in to help local police patrol the Oakland-Alameda Estuary and San Francisco Bay. It could help bring an end to the brazen pirate attacks, at least for the time being.
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The post San Francisco Bay Plagued by Modern-Day Pirates as Crime Escalates to Alarming Levels first appeared on Mama Say What?!.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Denis—S. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.