SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Hamid Moghadam knows the city’s crime problem all too well. The CEO of San Francisco-based Prologis was robbed at gunpoint outside his home in broad daylight.
“This is a gang that does this all the time and they had attacked me from the parking lot,” Moghadam said.
The suspects followed Moghadam to his home in broad daylight.
“A car ran by, stopped right next to me and two guys jumped out with guns pointed at my face,” he said. “It just happened so fast, honestly, I didn’t have time to get scared.”
The thieves wanted his watch and they got it, then escaped.
Moghadam was not injured, but he was left heartbroken.
“This city holds a special place for us because we started our business here.”
He started Prologis four decades ago and turned it into a multi-billion dollar real estate empire with offices around the world.
Moghadam wanted to tell his story to KPIX 5 because in addition to this serious increase in crime, he has another concern: the safety of his employees and the concern that other companies may decide to leave or not go shopping here in San Francisco.
“When this happened, I said ‘someone has to stand up and say enough is enough’ and I decided to do that.”
So he decided to write to local and state legislators.
“I heard from the governor within a few hours and the mayor called,” Moghadam said.
But he said everyone is concerned, but stuck on how to solve this problem.
“I get all kinds of jokes from San Francisco when I travel around the world. It’s almost embarrassing and that’s the perception and that affects the tourism and convention industry,” says Moghadam. “There are a lot of jobs involved. Once you get over the tipping point, it becomes very, very difficult to get it back.”
How close are we to ‘not getting it back’?
“Pretty close,” Moghadam said. “I hate to say that, but it’s the truth from fair to good.”
Moghadam says safety should be the top priority. He is a member of the executive committee of the Bay Area Council, an economic development association.
“The public is aware that changes need to happen and we need to think differently,” President Jim Wunderman said. “Our policies must be different, our actions must be different.”
The Bay Area Council found that more than half of respondents felt San Francisco was not safe, and nearly two-thirds said they avoid downtown because of crime.
“We need to fix these things. We’re developing a reputation problem as a place not to go,” Wunderman said. “That’s not good for the Bay Area, so we have to be tough for action and success.
So how does the city tackle crime?
District attorney Brooke Jenkins said the point is to focus on repeat offenders and get the word out that San Francisco is taking a hard line on crime.
“You can’t leave Oakland or Santa Clara or San Mateo and come to San Francisco and get away with crime,” said DA Jenkins. “The other thing is really working with the San Francisco Police Department, who work really hard together to tackle the more problematic areas of the city. We can’t let our downtown area be overrun with crime, that’s where most of our involvement is.” is where our conventions are, so we need to make sure we make a strategic decision to address certain bad pocket areas very publicly.”