The car break-in epidemic continues in the Bay Area, particularly at tourist spots. People jump out of their car for just a minute to take a selfie and return to their vehicle to find its windows smashed and their valuables stolen.
There were about 29,000 car break-ins in 2017, which was up by over 4,000 than 2016. The problem steadily rises. In 2017, there were only 790 arrests and most did not did not do jail time.
The police are now going undercover. Detectives are walking around in plain clothes and officers’ presence in uniforms has also increased. While arrests are up, the problem just gets bigger.
Officials report that street gangs are responsible for 70 – 80% of the auto break-ins. Tourists are generally the targets as frequent target areas are Fisherman’s Warf, Golden Gate Park and 347 at the Palace of Fine Arts. All in all, 80 cars per day are being hit with no end in sight.
What You Can Do
Aside from making a report when you see it happening, there are many things you can do to keep yourself and items safe.
- Never leave anything of value inside the car, not even for a minute. Items like wallets, purses, smartphones and laptops and other electronics are always going to be stolen when visible through the windows. Hide them in the trunk before you arrive at the destination.
- Take a cab or a ride sharing service to visit tourist spots. It is more convenient anyway. Live like royalty with door to door service.
- Park in a lot with security then walk to the tourist spot or take a ride sharing service.
- Keep a record of the serial numbers of your electronics in a safe place at home and a copy of it in your bank safe deposit box. If items are recovered, you can prove it is yours.