With a jaw-dropping $9.6 billion budget, $300 feels like a fart in San Francisco's financial tornado. But one SF Supe is hoping that a couple $300 expenditures might curb one of the city's most pervasive problems: San Francsico's current epidemic of car break-ins.
As previously reported, car break-ins have reached an all-time high in SF, with a 34 percent jump year over year reported in 2016. According to ABC 7, Supervisor Mark Farrell is fighting the crimes in his district by pushing for a series of signs posted along the Embarcadero at a cool $300/per to install.
"Prevent Theft. Remove valuables. Lock your car," the signs read, which "may seem like common sense and not necessary to those who live in the city," ABC 7 observes. I dare you to use that "common sense" line with the FBI agent who left his gun and badge in a car parked near Alamo Square, ABC! I dare you!
Then again, that FBI agent — and many, many others (a total 26,491 reported car break-ins in 2015, and countless more victims likely didn't even bother to contact the cops) were struck by of smash-and-grab robbers, criminals who are hardly thwarted by locked doors. And while making sure you keep NOTHING in your car is always a good idea, a jaunt through any San Francisco Nextdoor feed will net you report after report of people saying that their empty car was broken into by thieves just...making sure, I guess?
But, still, it is only $300 per sign, so I guess we shouldn't expect them to solve all our problems. Hell, $300 doesn't even get you a cop for a day, as the minimum monthly pay for an SFPD officer was reportedly $6,782 as of September 2015. Divvy that up by a standard 22-day work month, and the lowest daily police officer rate is around $308.
Speaking of cops, just last year, former acting SFPD Chief Toney Chaplin explained what he saw as the reason behind why car break-ins are so pervasive in SF. "These are the lowest of the low-hanging fruits," he told a Government Audit and Oversight Committee meeting. "It’s the easiest crime for you to perpetrate. You don’t need much to do it.”
Will these $300 signs raise the fruit higher, or convince miscreants to move on to a different branch of the vast tree that is crime? According Farrell aide Jess Montejano "Supervisor Farrell hopes it will act as a preventative measure." And with 30 of these $300 signs now posted across the city, according to ABC 7, it would sure be a waste of money if they didn't.