‘We are f***ed,’ an exasperated police officer candidly declares as he patrols a Chevron gas station in Oakland, California, during the morning rush.

The spot is one of three gas stations that surround Oakland Airport and which have become notorious for vehicle thefts. Within a single square mile, cops claim criminals strike a dozen times or more per day, every day, mainly targeting victims who are headed to and from the airport.

But the officer, who’s picked up an overtime shift to keep watch and act as a deterrent, wasn’t just referring to the theft epidemic when he made the strikingly blunt assessment.