The latest criminal activity to plague liberal California is now, somewhat unbelievably, homeless pirates swarming aboard houseboats in the San Francisco Bay.
At a community meeting last week, locals along the Oakland-Alameda estuary said that boats had been cut loose and are drifting out to sea.
One woman even related how she had intervened to save a fellow local after pirates had severed his rigging lines after a quarrel on a sailboat in the middle of the night.
Small motorized dinghies are being used by the thieves, whose homeless camps have spread outside of the city, in smash-and-grab raids on bigger boats and houseboats.
Community members spoke at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s enforcement hearing on Wednesday about needing to defend themselves against the pirates because the city’s police have been powerless to stop them.
One woman recalled rescuing a sailboat-riding man in the middle of the night after he said pirates had severed the sailboat’s line after a quarrel.
The Bay Area experienced an increase in maritime crime this summer. Online images and videos depicted seagoing robbers rushing through the water at night after their robberies.
According to locals, the city’s expanding homeless population, which is flooding into the waterways, is where the pirates are coming from.
According to the US Census, the island community of Alameda, which is regarded as an Oakland suburb, has a population of little under 80,000 people.
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