Zaid, an Afghan immigrant who made a new life in the United States over three decades ago, has made a chilling comparison between the rampant crime in San Francisco and his native war-torn Afghanistan.
The proprietor of Cigarettes R Cheaper, a tobacco store located in the Democrat-governed city, Zaid told Fox News that the criminal elements in the city have pilfered merchandise and cash totaling over $100,000 from his business with impunity.
Expressing his dismay, Zaid said, "The politicians need to get a grip on this because it's worse than Afghanistan or Iraq. At least in Afghanistan the Taliban will cut your hand off and people are afraid to commit such a crime."
He noted the increasing incidence of robberies in the city, attributing the crime wave to the apparent lack of decisive police intervention.
Zaid shared a harrowing account of seven thieves ransacking his store for a lengthy 20 minutes, only to escape in two cars before police arrived.
He lamented, "We have drugs issue, we have homeless issue, and on top of this these idiots come in here and take whatever they want. The city has gone downhill, especially the last two 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."
Facing an increasingly unsafe city, Zaid is contemplating shuttering his store, citing safety as his foremost concern. His narrative isn't isolated, with other businesses in the city suffering similarly. This past April, a downtown San Francisco Whole Foods closed its doors, with a city hall insider attributing the closure to nearby criminal activity and drug use.
Whole Foods maintained a noncommittal stance on reopening the location, stating, "We are closing our Trinity location only for the time being. If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location."
San Francisco's downtown district has seen its vitality dwindle in the aftermath of government-imposed lockdowns. Retail giant Nordstrom also announced plans to close both of its downtown department stores in the upcoming months, signaling an uncertain future for commerce in the city.