SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The smash-and-grab of a car or a garage break-in doesn’t shock anyone in the Bay Area. But it might surprise you to hear about someone who was able to track down the thieves themselves.

That was the case for a man in the Marina District who had a briefcase with thousands in cash stolen from his home. KRON4 spoke with the man about his chase-down of the thief.

An Uber was waiting outside Cyrus Sanandaji’s home back in June, ready to take him and his family to the airport. He needed to catch a flight to Italy for his wedding. 

But while he was packing up the car, he realized a bag with his valuables had been stolen. Sanandaji tells KRON4 that among the items stolen were his, “laptop, iPad, medications, passports, cash.”

Most would panic knowing all that had been stolen from their front doorstep, but Sanandaji did some quick thinking at his Marina home in San Francisco. Using his cell phone, he was able to track his AirPods in the stolen bag at the intersection of Filmore and Chestnut streets.

He followed the blue dot that slowly made its way up Filmore, realizing that the thief was on a Muni bus. The thief eventually transferred from the 22 to the 38 on Geary Street.

“With the Uber driver, we followed and then cut the bus off at the next stop, I jumped on,” he said. His bag was nowhere in sight on board the bus, but it was when he got off that he saw a man handing his laptop off to another person on the sidewalk.

“In that point I was seeing red and I just head down and charged him and tackled him. Got him to the ground and wrestled,” Sanadaji told KRON4. “The Uber driver was great because he stepped in and pulled the bag away.”

Sanandaji says the suspect managed to get away and run up the street. As far as the stolen items, everything was accounted for except for his iPad and €9,000 cash.

Officers responded to the scene, surprised that Sanandaji was brazen enough to tackle the suspect in the Tenderloin. Back in his own neighborhood of the Marina, the crimes seem to be getting more serious.

He blames a number of factors, from the soft-on-crime policies of former San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin to low morale at the police department. Sanandaji knows that the city’s problems won’t be solved overnight, but he says it starts with people and their power to vote.

Sanandaji says, “Whether it’s local, state, or federal actually has consequences and we have the power to elect and remove people from office.”

KRON On is streaming news live now

Sanandaji filed a police report the day his money and belongings were stolen. He’s doubtful that he’ll ever recover what was lost or that an arrest will be made.