Yes, you haven't been just imaging it — there are actually more car break-ins happening these days. In fact, data from the police department shows that we hit a 5-year high in the smash-and-grab crime last summer, and at least one San Francisco Supervisor is upset.
Supervisor Scott Wiener spoke to the Government Audit and Oversight Committee yesterday on this topic, reports the Examiner, and he highlighted the seeming pervasiveness of the crime.
“This is not limited to one neighborhood,” the paper reports Wiener and saying. “Everywhere I go in my district, everywhere I go in other parts of The City, this is one of the issues that I consistently hear — that we’re sick of walking down the street and seeing 10 car break-ins.”
In 2015, police recorded 26,491 car break-ins, which the Examiner notes is a 34 percent jump over 2014 numbers.
SFPD Cmdr. Toney Chaplin spoke at yesterday's committee meeting, reports the Chronicle, and gave his suspected reason for the crime's popularity.
“The increase of these auto burglaries is because these are the lowest of the low-hanging fruits," he speculated. "It’s the easiest crime for you to perpetrate. You don’t need much to do it.”
Chaplin furthered that often victims don't discover their property has been stolen or destroyed for days, and this makes solving the crimes difficult. However, he claims SFPD is still going after suspected perpetrators of car break-ins.
“Some of the guys we’ve identified as auto burglars are also involved in narcotics trafficking and human trafficking,” he explained. “We may not be able to get them for the auto break-ins, but we can get them for other crimes.”
The Examiner notes that SFPD officials have tried to place the blame for the increase in property crimes on Proposition 47, which was approved by voters in November of 2014 and reduced certain offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, but Supervisor Peskin wasn't buying the claim.
“This is clearly a trend that has happened for half a decade,” Peskin noted.
Regardless of the reason, the uptick in car break-ins is real. Consider this your periodic reminder to not leave anything in your car.
Previously: Spike In Car Break-Ins Has Many Blaming Prop 47