Lawlessness in San Francisco has prompted business owner and lifelong resident Tom Wong to abandon the city and flee for the suburbs in hope of escaping the chaos.
Wong told FOX Business’ Ashley Webster on Monday that he no longer recognizes the city he grew up in and its downward spiral has left its youth hopeless and vengeful against locals and area establishments.
"I moved out to the suburbs because it’s much safer," he explained during his appearance on "Varney & Co."
"It’s a more family-oriented environment – we look after each other, there’s a sense of community here. In San Francisco, we don’t have that. [In San Francisco] we have lawlessness, we have youth without vision, without opportunity and they’re taking it out on the residents and the businesses…"
Wong said the Bay Area crime crisis affected his own private security firm "tremendously" before he left, noting he dealt with not only a business break-in, but vehicle break-ins as well.
"They stole everything," he said. "They stole computers, tools we used to help board up businesses when they get their windows smashed out. We have cars that we use and that was smashed and equipment was taken out, so we couldn’t go back out on patrol, we couldn’t do most of our work."
Wong said even his personal vehicle was attacked on multiple occasions, particularly by youth who he said run in groups and carry guns to threaten or scare away victims.
"Who do you blame?" Webster asked.
"The mayor, the city council," Wong responded. "It’s horrific, the way they run it… the fault falls on the mayor. She is a failed leader. She has driven out tech companies, residents have moved out, tech workers have moved out. It’s a ghost town out here… we’re fed up."
As shuttered businesses become increasingly more common, Wong said the criminals have turned to residents. Crime has even gotten so out of hand that the military has been forced to step in to aid in police work.
In recent months, several major retailers have fled San Francisco, including Nordstrom, Walgreen’s and Whole Foods in an exodus that led Twitter CEO Elon Musk to describe the city as "post-apocalyptic."
Downtown’s Old Navy store will be the latest to close this summer. A spokesperson for Gap Inc., which is headquartered in the city and owns a number of retailers including Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta, said the Market Street location will close its doors July 1 once its lease expires.