As we await final crime stats from the SFPD for 2019, the department is touting the fact that burglaries from vehicles in the city — while still high — were down slightly year over year through November.
As of the end of November, there were 23,309 reports of vehicle break-ins, down from 23,921 in the first eleven months of 2018, as KPIX reports. Clearly that's not a huge decrease, but it does mean, on average, there were about two fewer per day citywide — 2,119 per month, versus 2175 per month in 2018. It remains to be seen if December's numbers will be bump that average higher.
Back in March we reported on the downward trend in car burglaries, though at that time it was only based on two months worth of data. January 2019 was off to a promising start with a 28 percent decline in car break-ins compared to January 2018. But things ticked right back up in February. The other promising figure was that car break-ins at city-owned parking lots were down 72 percent over two years.
The car break-in epidemic seemed to have peaked in 2017, and 2018 saw a 17 percent reduction in reports overall.
The SFPD has made various changes to address the car break-in problem, though it remains a crime for which few people seem to be arrested. An exception to that was a case last weekend, when a victim caught a burglar in the act near Civic Center. And recently, the SFPD and multiple law enforcement agencies announced the bust of a large fencing ring and the recovery of several million dollars worth of stolen goods — much of which was likely stolen in vehicle burglaries. The hope is that by removing the source of easy income from selling the goods, the thieves will have less motivation to do so.