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Thieves target San Francisco Marina District garage three times in one night

<i>KPIX</i><br/>Marvin and Amanda Benedict are sharing their experience in hopes other residents will be more vigilant and report crimes when they are victimized.
KPIX
KPIX
Marvin and Amanda Benedict are sharing their experience in hopes other residents will be more vigilant and report crimes when they are victimized.

By BETTY YU

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    SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — A pair of thieves appear to hit one residential garage three times in a matter of hours last week in San Francisco’s Marina District.

Home surveillance video shows two men walking along Divisadero Street just before 3 a.m. on September 20. After noticing a slightly open side door, they turn around and make their way in.

They wander into a garage. One man in a red hat grabs power tools, while the other takes a tripod light. All of it was captured on multiple cameras. While the men seem to notice the cameras, it doesn’t deter them.

About an hour later, it appears the same pair of thieves return. This time they’re wearing face masks, seemingly to get what they couldn’t carry the first time.

They left with golf clubs, baggage, and a large saw. But they didn’t stop there. One of them stole the garage door opener out of the family car, and found a spare car key in a garage built-in.

Two hours later, a man in a hoodie and mask is seen entering the garage and driving off with the couple’s car.

“About 5:45 [a.m.] they came back and helped themselves to the car and didn’t even shut the garage,” said Marvin Benedict, whose garage was targeted.

“They actually came in from the outside, just walked back because they had found the garage door opener and came in, and backed the car out, and we actually had another car blocking the driveway, but that didn’t even deter them. They just kind of backed out and away they went,” said Amanda Benedict.

All the while, the couple was inside their home.

“It’s scary. We have a daughter that’s 2 1/2. You want the best for your children and your family and your community, everyone around us too,” said Amanda.

After burglars hit the family twice in early 2020, making off with a stroller and Vespa that was parked outside their home, they installed cameras. Ever since, they say they’ve noticed troubling activity in the overnight hours in the neighborhood every night.

“Between 2 and 4 [a.m.], there’s someone looking to do something. We’ve had people come up to the gate and pick the lock. We’ve had people try and take the mailman’s key. We’ve had people try and open the garage. But any night, you’ll see someone either with a flashlight looking in cars, someone dressed in all black, running down the street,” said Marvin.

This time, the couple said San Francisco police recovered their stolen car two days later in the Tenderloin. The car had been ticketed by the city and ended up in a tow yard.

“It was clear that people were living in it and doing drugs and other substances,” said Amanda.

“There were multiple hypodermic needles, tie-off bands, significant amount of fluids, they had tried to take out all the speakers,” added Marvin.

The Benedicts have since installed an extremely loud alarm in the garage. They are sharing their experience in hopes other residents will be more vigilant and report crimes when they are victimized.

Neighbors help put up flyers showing the burglars’ faces.

“I would never walk my daughter after ten o’clock out here. It’s a nice neighborhood. I’d like to think it’s safe, but there’s definitely reasons that I wouldn’t do that,” said Marvin.

“I hope that people are aware that it’s happening. It’s unfortunate but it is, but that it also creates a sense of community, where we stop and take care of each other,” said Amanda. “Lastly, the more we make people aware, hopefully the city will start doing more.”

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