The latest attempt at a crackdown on illegal street vending is a law that hopes to separate the legal, permitted vendors from the folks just selling stolen stuff, and the legal vendors on Mission Street say it’s a step in the right direction.

The latest in the cat-and-mouse game of combating illegal vending has San Francisco applying an outright ban on Mission Street vending (between 14th Street and Cesar Chavez Street), but allowing legal and permitted street vendors at two alternative street vending spots. That’s not really working, as one of those alternate wedding sports was recently shut down due to lack of foot traffic, and according to Mission Local, business is not so hot at the remaining legal 24th and Capp streets location.

Meanwhile, vendors have been generally chased away from 24th and Mission during only those specific hours when police are stationed there, but they return with a vengeance at night. And on weekends when there’s rarely police presence, the vending runs amuk. This seems like a system that has created more problems for permitted vendors, and frankly favors the “fencers” selling stolen items.    

But KPIX reported this week that state Senator Scott Wiener proposed a new bill called SB 925 that specifically targets people selling stolen items.  

“Fencing of stolen goods on our streets is a major issue in parts of San Francisco, particularly in the Mission and the Tenderloin," Wiener told KPIX. "I want to be clear that SB 925 does not apply in any way to prepared foods nor does it apply to people selling goods with a permit. It only applies to people who do not have a permit and who are selling items that are commonly stolen."

KPIX also spoke to Mission Street Vendors Association president Rodrigo Lopez, which represents the legal, permitted vendors, and he said that group is thrilled with the idea.

"It's very exciting,” Lopez told the station. “Seven months ago, there were only a few vendors, and no one recognized any vendors. Right now everybody recognizes this move and we feel like we are part of the city, of the community because we have a voice."

Not to be outdone, mayoral candidate Supervisor Ahsha Safai is introducing his own local measure calling for confiscating illegal vendors' goods.

"What we were doing, which was being exploited, was that the warning process kept repeating itself over and over again,” Safai told KPIX. “But what we want to do with this is we're zeroing in on illegal street fencing of stolen items. And we want the inspectors to go, give a warning, document that warning. And for 120 days after that, if they come back and the individual can't produce a permit, a receipt for their items, those items would be seized."

Safai says his legislation will get a vote in a Board of Supervisors committee meeting Monday, before getting a full board at some point in the future.

Related: Mission Street Vending Ban Declared a Success, Gets Extended for Six More Months [SFNews]

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews