San Francisco is 'worse than Afghanistan': Immigrant store owner begs city for help amid theft epidemic

"At least in Afghanistan the Taliban will cut your hand off and people are afraid to commit such a crime."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
A San Francisco store owner who immigrated to the United States from Afghanistan recently claimed that crime in the city is worse than in Afghanistan after violent criminals robbed his tobacco shop, stealing more than $100,000 in merchandise.

Zaid, co-owner of Cigarettes R Cheaper, says that a gang of thieves robbed his store on Tuesday night and stole $80,000 worth of merchandise, along with $20,000 in cash, according to Fox News.

"The politicians need to get a grip on this because It's worse than Afghanistan or Iraq," Zaid told the outlet. "At least in Afghanistan the Taliban will cut your hand off and people are afraid to commit such a crime."

The Afghan immigrant slammed San Francisco's progressive policies that prevent criminals from being held accountable.

"They know the police won't do anything," Zaid explained, revealing that the robbers were inside his store for 20 minutes before police were able to respond.

Police told Zaid that the long-response time was due to the department's staffing crisis, the outlet reports.

"We have drugs issue, we have homeless issue, and on top of this these idiots come in here and take whatever they want," Zaid said, who opened his store in 2003 after immigrating to the US from Afghanistan in 1987.

(Courtesy: Cigarettes R Cheaper)

The San Francisco Police Department told Fox News that officers arrived on the scene at 2:44 am and "observed the window to the business shattered and items from the business strewn about the scene."

According to Zaid, the city is seeing a mass exodus of both people and businesses due to its increased criminal nature. Zaid says he might soon be the next owner to close up shop.

"The city has gone downhill, especially the last 2 years since COVID, I’ve never seen it worse. People are afraid to come shopping here because they are either going to get robbed or someone will break into their car," Zaid explained.

"We might have to shut it down," Zaid said, adding, "Our safety is more important than making a living in this city."

Zaid closing down his tobacco shop would add to the growing list of businesses in San Francisco that have decided to permanently shutter their doors due to the city's vast increase in crime, rampant retail theft, open-air drug use, violent attacks carried out by homeless vagrants, and loss of foot traffic.

(Courtesy: Cigarettes R Cheaper)

In recent months, NordstromWhole FoodsT-Mobile, Walgreens, Saks OFF 5th, and Old Navy all have announced their departures from the once-beloved city.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has publicly claimed that the mass exodus of businesses in the city is not due to the increase in crime, but rather the changing directory between retailers and consumers.

Following Old Navy's announcement that they were pulling out of the city last week, Mayor Breed said this "is not about the issues and the conditions, this is about the changes to retail. And that's just where we are at this time. And it's time for us to make some adjustments to that." 

"The city is growing and expanding, but not in the traditional Financial District 9 to 5 ways, or retail shop in the various mall things that the young people used to do," Breed said.

The San Francisco Police Department reported that no arrests have been made in connection to Tuesday night's robbery.
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