Thieves take over dance floor 

click to enlarge Do the hustle: The Entertainment Commission wants clubgoers to guard their belongings after recent thefts. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Do the hustle: The Entertainment Commission wants clubgoers to guard their belongings after recent thefts.

Pervs aren’t the only ones trying to get into your pants at San Francisco nightclubs.

Thieves have been trolling the late-night scene at an alarming rate, police and city officials say, snatching cellphones and other loot while unwitting revelers dance the night away.

Security guards at Ruby Skye near Union Square busted a pickpocket Monday night who reportedly swiped five cellphones for a total estimated value of $1,700.

“Ruby Skye has been plagued by pickpockets,” Vajra Granelli, an inspector with the Entertainment Commission, said during a commission meeting Tuesday night.

The good news is the popular Mason Street nightclub has a strong security team, police said. But other clubs in San Francisco might be more vulnerable.

Nightclub thefts are common, Granelli said, but they appear to have dramatically increased during the past half year. On the other hand, nightclub-related violence is down, he said.

“We talked to a lot of clubs and their security is acutely aware of [the theft] issue, and they’re working hard to stop it,” Granelli said.

In the Monday arrest at Ruby Skye, security officials said they were informed that a man was stealing from patrons. They kept an eye on the suspect and caught him in the act. After confronting him, he dropped a bag of cellphones.

Cops would not release the party pooper’s identity Thursday, citing an ongoing investigation.

“One person going into a club can do a lot of damage as far as wrecking people’s nights,” police Officer Steve Matthias said at the commission meeting.

The increase in thefts is likely economy-driven, Granelli said, with opportunists viewing nightclubs filled with distracted drunks as “easy pickings.”

While police want to educate clubs on strengthening security, patrons have the most power to prevent thefts.

Police encourage clubgoers to keep their belongings with them and in a secured location, or to use the coat check service if it’s offered.

“We’re not getting reports of robberies from the coat check,” Granelli said.

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