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Oakland, CA, Now Plagued by Pirates of the Bay Area

Oakland, CA, Now Plagued by Pirates of the Bay Area

Oakland Marina Harbormaster: “Residents in marinas are scared, they’re talking about forming groups, they’re arming themselves.”

California has recently been the home of many novel crime styles: Smash-and-grab, flash-Mob, and follow-home robberies being an increasingly common problem.

However, a more traditional form of theft is returning to this state. Historically, it is recognized that the era of piracy involving the Unites States’ water ended in the 1830s after the navies of Western Europe and North America began combating Caribbean pirates.

It’s back…this time in the waters of California’s San Francisco Bay Area.

Residents of California’s Bay Area are experiencing a new wave of crime that involves ‘pirates’ sneaking up on dinghies and stealing items from boats in the harbor.

Photos and videos posted online show dinghies speeding through the water at night and the alleged culprits on a watercraft following an apparent theft.

According to posts, as police are inundated with crime, some have been left to fend for themselves when it comes to sea, said Marianne Armand, a local boat owner.

Police have assigned one full-time officer to maritime patrol, and the cop admits that thieves get away because of response times.

‘We have several calls into the police but they can’t do anything unless we catch them,’ Armand wrote in a Facebook post sharing video of the robbers.

It appears the homeless camps are the center of the new piracy craze.

On Monday, Jaime Camacho was salvaging teak wood from some old ship hulls. He said he’s noticed a lot more small boats tied up around the homeless camps at Union Point Park.

“And you wonder, where did they get these boats? Small boats are expensive. So, I wonder where they’re getting them. I don’t know,” said Camacho. “Maybe they’re taking what little money they have to buy them, but it’s, you know, I know a lot of friends who have had their small boats disappear and their outboard motors.”

Damon Taylor, who maintains a sailboat near the Jack London Aquatic Center, said outboard motors seem to be the real prize.

“Yeah, the motors are the thing,” he said. “You’ve got to figure a brand new, small 10-horsepower engine is $10,-15,000. So, even in the black market they can probably get a couple thousand.”

There is now even talk among those impacted by the Bay Area pirates of forming a seaborne militia to protect their property.

Former Oakland Marina harbormaster Brock DeLappe calls it piracy.

“Over the last couple of months it’s become extremely severe, boats are being stolen almost on a nightly basis,” he said. “Residents in marinas are scared, they’re talking about forming groups, they’re arming themselves. Someone’s going to get hurt if this is not taken seriously by authorities.”

Craig Jacobsen, president of Outboard Motor Shop says thieves also targeted his business.

Given where they live, I wish them a ton of good luck with that idea.

A US Navy vessel was one of the boats pilfered, as the patrols on these waters are understaffed and overworked.

Alameda maintains a part-time maritime unit to patrol the waterways, though its officers are assigned to other duties. Oakland has one full-time maritime patrol officer, Kaleo Albino, who said he’s observed thefts spiking in the estuary over the past six weeks and has organized night patrols to help quell it. However, he’s had to contend with limited staffing and the vastness of a bay “where it’s easy to hide” and quickly dismantle a boat engine, he said.

“They’re just taking advantage of our response times,” Albino said, referring to the difficulty of tracking down perpetrators.

Now, the harbors are losing business, with slips left vacant as people become reluctant to store boats at known burglary hot spots. Encampments sprawl along the shoreline, consisting of battered dinghies, inflatable rafts, and even a former U.S. Navy vessel that appeared to house several people before it sank in December.


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In an act of criminal stupidity stupidity this story, along with countless others, documenting the extreme dysfunctionality of California and its government will be forgotten by so many as they vote for Gavin Newsom in the Presidential primaries and the following general election (since Biden won’t be able to fool anyone as being even remotely capable no matter how much propaganda they throw at the country next year).

    Martin in reply to Cleetus. | August 31, 2023 at 8:57 am

    I think some of the will actually vote for him to punish the rest of us for not having to put up with this. Especially the ones who have escaped California.
    Slogan: Vote Newsom, Why should other states have nice lives without rampant crime?

JackinSilverSpring | August 31, 2023 at 7:24 am

Keep defunding the police and keep electing Soros prosecutors who won’t prosecute criminals but will prosecute law-abiding citizens who defend themselves, and you have a prescription for a total breakdown of civil society.

I feel sorry for the people who can’t leave that hell hole that California has become. The California Democrats are totally responsible for what has happened to the once Golden State,

Going after commercial shipping instead might solve the homeless problem. It worked for Somalia.

Pirates….a new way to spell Democrats. No need to shoot the ‘pirate’ just pop a hole in the dinghy.

Jack London was an oyster pirate. Looks like crime pays what with an aquatic center named after him.

E Howard Hunt | August 31, 2023 at 8:38 am

Use a mooring buoy to keep the boat some distance from the dock. Everybody knows they can’t swim.

If someone boards my boat unlawfully while I am on it, how does the law of self defense treat that as opposed to someone breaking into my house while I am home? My understanding of home invasion is that homeowners have wide latitude when responding to an unlawful invader. What about boats?

    E Howard Hunt in reply to broomhandle. | August 31, 2023 at 8:48 am

    The law is black and white on this issue. If the invader is white, it is self defense. If the invader is black, it is murder.

    Idonttweet in reply to broomhandle. | August 31, 2023 at 9:03 am

    Especially if you live aboard the boat. (I.e., the boat is your home.)

    Milhouse in reply to broomhandle. | August 31, 2023 at 9:45 am

    If you live on the boat, then California’s castle doctrine would kick in as soon as the intruder step on board. That means the law presumes that you are in fear of death or serious injury, and so may use deadly force to defend yourself. If you were to be prosecuted, the prosecutor would have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you had no such fear.

    If it’s not your residence then there’s no castle doctrine available, but CA also has no duty to retreat, so if you are genuinely and reasonably in fear of death or serious injury you may use deadly force to defend yourself. But (as far as I know) not to protect property. And there’s no automatic presumption that you were in such fear, as there is inside your residence.

      curiosityband in reply to Milhouse. | August 31, 2023 at 10:19 am

      Sounds like whichever person pushes someone into the water first, wins.

      I’d be curious, though, how it’s different if you are not at dock. Piracy was generally considered a federal jurisdiction, and I doubt those old laws have been overturned. (And I’m pretty sure they’re pretty “cleared hot” on piracy.

        henrybowman in reply to GWB. | August 31, 2023 at 4:20 pm

        In fact, piracy is one of the only three (four, depending on how you count) actual “federal crimes” enumerated in the constitution over which the federal government DOES have legitimate jurisdiction. Unfortunately, it’s piracy “on the high seas,” and this doesn’t qualify.

      henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | August 31, 2023 at 4:18 pm

      Of course, if you are on a boat, any duty you have to retreat is pretty moot. Retreat where?

        Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | August 31, 2023 at 7:50 pm

        You could lock yourself into the cabin, perhaps. Or jump off and swim for shore. But in CA, as in most states, you don’t have to.

      not_a_lawyer in reply to Milhouse. | August 31, 2023 at 4:28 pm

      Milhouse is, as usual, correct on this issue.

    Fire away, just be careful not to sink your house in the process!

    Painful Reality in reply to broomhandle. | September 1, 2023 at 8:23 am

    The Law no longer matters. In Democrat controlled areas or Soros backed PA’s the prosecution is the punishment. They don’t really care if you eventually win because they have bankrupted you in the process phase. A conviction is merely a bonus.

    docduracoat in reply to broomhandle. | September 5, 2023 at 5:31 pm

    To broom handle,
    It is of interest to note that California has a very robust castle doctrine law..
    If you are in your live aboard boat, or in your car, or in your home, someone who enters unlawfully is presumed to be a lethal threat and you can start blasting away.

    Please stop shooting when the person is incapacitated, and never. I repeat ,never pursue a fleeing felon.

    This robust law is all the result of caselaw in the courts. The legislature would never pass laws so favorable to the defense

Fat_Freddys_Cat | August 31, 2023 at 8:49 am

It’s not hard to guess how the Democrats will respond to the citizens forming a militia. The lefties will completely lose their shit.

And all the Dems’ talk about how the Second Amendment is just about “militias”? They will squeal “no, not like that!”

You can’t really put all the blame on the police for this because they really do have limited resources (one cop for 14 marinas in the county). I do think it’s fair to blame the city councils and county commissions that are responsible for limiting those resources (defunding them).

It seems to be quickly coming to a point where the police either can’t or won’t protect the people they’re supposedly sworn to serve. When the citizen is in a position where they have to defend themselves, the police should be responsible for cleaning up the mess and bagging the remains, not second-guessing the citizens. Especially if prosecutors are refusing to prosecute suspects when they are arrested.

Knowing California, they require permits and registration, and of course taxes, for everything from pool floats to paddle boards, dinghies, PWCs and anything else that floats. Why don’t the water police check the ownership, registration and sea worthiness of the craft at the homeless camps? Check the serial numbers of the outboards on the boats and see if they’ve been reported stolen, just like they do when they ticket you for a parking violation.

You can’t really call it piracy since it’s not happening in international waters (on the high seas).

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to Idonttweet. | August 31, 2023 at 9:56 am

    Don’t blame the politicians, blame the voters who elected these people in the first place, andcho keep re-electing them.

    I’m not sure about the international waters bit. Plenty of piracy took place within our territorial waters until the US ended it.
    (“Piracy” on the high seas is certainly confined to the high seas. But I’m fairly positive piracy is a federal crime and simply involves boats on open water.)

    henrybowman in reply to Idonttweet. | August 31, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    “When the citizen is in a position where they have to defend themselves, the police should be responsible for cleaning up the mess and bagging the remains, not second-guessing the citizens.”

    Agreed. And yet, the entire concept of California residents (of all people) organizing and arming themselves against anything is entirely risible. California is much more intent and invested in uniformly disarming its citizenry than in controlling actual (victimizing) crime. And that is precisely why none of what you describe is going to happen.

Historically, it is recognized that the era of piracy involving the Unites States’ water ended in the 1830s

There were reports a few years ago of pirates on a lake on the US-Mexican border.

And of course there’s The Last Saskatchewan Pirate, whose main hunting grounds are outside the Waters of the United States (at least according to SCOTUS’s latest word), but in the winters, when the Canadian piracy season is over, “I hear there’s lots of plunderin’ down in New Mexico”.

    henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | August 31, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    I never in a million years would have guessed that Benny Hill had illegitimate progeny in Canada.

    DeweyEyedMoonCalf in reply to Milhouse. | August 31, 2023 at 7:17 pm

    Upvoted Milhouse for being aware of “The Arrogant Worms”. I can also recommend “Corky and the Juice Pigs” under the heading of Quirkey Canadian Comedy groups.

My younger brother was smart yet devious, and chose a life of crime instead of being honest. He robbed crack dealers, and had a novel method. Toss a dead snake in a throng of thugs and they drop everything to get away from it.
Probably would be hilarious with a dinghy.

In my experience, live-aboard- boaters and cruisers are overwhelmingly liberal.

It’s early, so enjoying this story with coffee instead of popcorn.

Why don’t they just move the homeless away from the water? Take away their boats? Cities move the homeless when they want to – look at San Jose. That city moved lots of homeless from downtown to South San Jose. I should know – that’s a huge reason why I sold my house. San Jose opened and /or built 8 places to house the homeless within 1 1/2 miles of my old neighborhood since the Covid shutdown (tiny houses, safe parks and hotel conversions.) When residents objected to the unfair number of homeless-related housing within just one district the city redrew district lines so that all of this housing is now in TWO districts! Oh – and a little secret – when you put homeless in housing like tiny houses other homeless who won’t qualify move to be near them. I don’t know why but they do! Hmmm – maybe cities like Oakland LIKE their homeless out of sight on the water’s edge.

Bucky Barkingham | August 31, 2023 at 1:49 pm

California rapidly sinking into s***hole status. Thank you Dems and CA voters.

Some readers here may not understand the marina lifestyle, so I will put forth a bit of an explanation.

A slip in the marina is far less expensive than a mortgage in the bay area.

The boats that these people live on are generally not large; their grey and black water tanks are very small. While their boat may be equipped with a shower, they generally do not defecate nor shower on the boat while docked.

The marinas have a dedicated bathroom facility that is only accessible to residents.

Most personal hygiene activities take place on-shore, in the provided bathroom facility.


they’re arming themselves

Too bad Oakland County is a no-issue jurisdiction.

Martial law is the left’s goal, and it’s coming. We need to begin discussin secession before the shooting starts.

IF people in CA are paying $10 to $15 THOUSAND for a 10 HP motor then PIRACY is definitely in play! I looked up the ACTUAL PRICES and saw none for more than even $3 THOUSAND! Maybe the author was speaking of a 100 HP motor – now THOSE are that high! This just shows how CRIME evolves! When you disregard the “little crimes” of $950 then they escalate into LARGER ones!

OH – is that $950 a PER DAY limit or just PER OCCURRENCE? I told my Wife it might be worth it to fly out to LA or Hollywood and do some “limited” shopping if it’s just FREE up to $950!! But, I need to know if I can “shop” more than ONCE per day!!

    Milhouse in reply to BLSinSC. | September 2, 2023 at 9:21 am

    It’s per occurrence. Stealing is not legal in CA. Every time you steal so much as a pack of gum you are risking prosecution. But the risk is not high.

    As far as I know every jurisdiction in the world makes a distinction between petty theft and grand theft; the former is a misdemeanor, the latter a felony. CA is no different. The threshold between the two varies from one jurisdiction to another, and CA’s is not unusually high. In many states it’s higher than CA’s.

    What has happened is not that petty theft has been legalized, but that the police rarely bother going after petty thieves, because there are so many more serious crimes for them to look into. Once the thieves realized this, petty theft became a growth industry.