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South Burlingame stands up to crime wave

Some neighbors believed burglaries were connected to nearby homeless camps

PHOTO COURTESY OF MAX LEE KWAI - South Burlingame neighbors cleared brush around nearby overpasses to make the areas less attractive to homeless campers.For better or for worse, Max Lee Kwai and his neighbors decided they were on their own.

It was late August, and burglaries had quickly escalated in the usually quiet South Burlingame neighborhood. Cars were broken into at night, and homes and garages were broken into during the day. Several neighbors shared the incidents on the neighborhood social network Nextdoor.com.

And then Lee Kwai noticed something different on his walking route by the neighborhood green space and overpasses.

“I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and it turned out to be a lawn mower and a whole bunch of packages from people’s doorsteps,” he said. The items were in the middle of a homeless camper’s site that included a tent, personal belongings and dozens of hypodermic needles scattered over the ground.

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