“It’s rare that you see no broken glass on any block in San Francisco,” said Police Chief Greg Suhr during a special Board of Supervisors meeting this past Thursday. As The Examiner reports, the increase in property crime was at issue. In the first two months of 2015 there's been a 49 percent increase in auto burglaries and an 18 percent jump in auto thefts when compared to the same period last year.
By the numbers, police recorded 2,772 auto burglaries in January and February of 2014 compared to 4,142 in the first two months of 2015. Vehicle thefts moved from 816 to 959 over that same period.
Sadly, it's more a change in pace than a change in direction. Vehicle thefts have been on the rise since 2010, with 9,554 then becoming 19,827 in 2014. According to police data, that number rose by 5,000 in 2013 alone.
Speculating on the causes of the uptick, Suhr invoked the state's 2011 realignment law, an effort to reduce overcrowded prisons. And he himself might have a personal bone to pick, as in 2013 a vehicle of his was broken into outside of his Golden Gate Heights home.
But District Attorney George Gascon’s chief of staff Christine DeBerry disagrees with Suhr's realignment hypothesis. "The other jurisdictions in California are seeing a decrease in their property crime that we’re not seeing,” she said, “So there is definitely a San Francisco issue that we need to look at more closely.”