New Cool Thing For Kids to Do: Steal Muni Drivers' Paraphernalia

Categories: Crime
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Muni drivers have been giving customers the shirts off their backs of late -- really
The aggressive brown coloring of Muni operators' uniforms always conjured up scenarios of dueling designers battling to see whether UPS or the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority could more authoritatively make the sartorial statement: "Feces!"

In other words, unlike NASCAR crews or even farmers, this is not a work jacket you'd want to wear around your neighborhood. Or would you? A pair of nearly identical incidents on buses in the Outer Mission a week apart resulted in fuming Muni drivers reporting that miscreants had made off with their jackets.

On July 16 a Muni driver noted that a gaggle of young people had boarded the bus without paying; when she walked to the back of the vehicle to harangue them she noticed they were vandalizing the bus. They ran off -- but not before someone swiped the drivers' jacket during the whole escapade. Police tracked down the thief. And yet, the graffiti diversion tactic was again pulled on a Mission and Silver bus on July 22 -- and this time it worked to perfection. 

A driver noticed a man unhook the bus' electric cables and then spray-paint the vehicle -- and really, what kind of an ingrate unhooks the wires from a functioning bus full of people and then vandalizes it in broad daylight? Perhaps the same kind of jackass who steals jackets; when the driver got back into the bus from re-attaching the power lines, his clothing had been pilfered.

Our calls to several members of the Transportation Workers Union about whether this is a new thing -- or as old and out-of-style as Muni's brown, brown duds -- have not yet been returned. Muni spokesman Judson True replied "Huh, that's a new one" -- but doesn't know where a tally of filched Muni paraphernalia might be located. More when we know more.

In the meantime, this problem may soon be solved by San Francisco's chilly weather -- which will induce drivers to keep their jackets on. Let's be careful out there.

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