Vehicle break-ins in San Francisco have become so commonplace over the past year that some desperate car owners have resorted to leaving their trunks open to avoid having the windows smashed by thieves.
A recent photo taken by in San Francisco showed two SUVs parked side by side with their trunks ajar and no one inside the vehicles.
A similar trend also has been observed in Oakland, which has seen a spike in car break-ins and auto thefts as part of a larger crime wave that has engulfed the Bay Area, with homicides, assaults and thefts all skyrocketing.
‘Imagine having to clean out your car and leaving it open in public, just so people won’t break your windows. Oakland we looking sad man,’ another witness who it happen wrote on social media.
‘It doesn’t really surprise me,’ said Oakland’s Interim Deputy Police Chief Drennon Lindsey.
Scroll down for video
Car owners in San Francisco seeking to avoid having their windows smashed by thieves have resorted to keeping their trunks open, as seen in the photo above
San Francisco has seen a 32 percent increase in car break-ins and a 25 per cent increase in auto thefts in December compared to the same time last year
In November 2021, data indicate that there were 3,375 reports of larceny theft in San Francisco,, most of which were car break-ins.
Dashcam footage shows brazen smash-and-grab thieves drive down San Francisco street breaking car windows and lifting bags out of cars
Law enforcement experts warn the preemptive move by beleaguered car owners is a bad idea.
‘They could steal your batteries, your tires,’ former SFPD Deputy Chief Garret Tom told KGO. ‘They could go into your glove compartment and find out where you live.’
The San Francisco Police Department has reported a 32 percent increase in car break-ins and a 25 per cent increase in auto thefts in December compared to the same time last year.
Tom said that in his nearly 40 years on the force, he has never seen people opt to keep their trunks open to protect their windows from being smashed.
‘We’re in different times… that’s unbelievable, he said.
In the city’s most popular tourist destinations, the situation is especially dire, with the rate of car break-ins jumping an astonishing 200 percent compared to last year.
In November, data indicate that there were 3,375 reports of larceny theft, most of which were car break-ins, reported NBC Bay Area.
Chesa Boudin, San Francisco’s progressive district attorney who ran on a platform of criminal justice reform and accepted $2million from left-wing philanthropist George Soros, has been blamed by many for spiking crime rates in his city.
San Francisco and Oakland are in the throes of a car break-in epidemic amid nearly across-the-board rising crime rates
The Bay Area has been targeted by organized smash-and-grab raids on retailers
Chesa Boudin, San Francisco’s progressive district attorney, has been blamed for spiking crime rates in his city
Between January 1 and November 29, there were 19,270 car break-ins reported in San Francisco, which translates into nearly 20 break-ins per 1,000 in the city, which is more than in Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston and Los Angeles.
Prosecutors and police in San Francisco have been pointing fingers at each, with the Office of District Attorney Boudin blaming cops for making arrests in less than 2 percent of car break-ins, and the police slamming the DA for releasing the thieves with little to no jail time because of California’s ‘zero-bail’ policy.
Oakland has been seeing a similar trend, with car owners opening their trunks to protect their vehicles from being damaged by marauding thieves.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has appealed to private property owners to buy security cameras and registering them with the police to help them catch the bandits.
A suspect was seen running away with an armful of merchandise after stealing from a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco’s Union Square last month
A group of about 40 to 50 teenage shoplifters made off with an unknown amount of jewelry and other items in Hayward, California, in November. Experts and officials say national crime networks are behind many of the ‘smash-and-grab ‘ operations
Police departments in both San Francisco and Oakland have stepped up patrols in busy areas during the holiday season. They are urging motorists to not leave any valuables in their cars, nor to leave their trunks open.
California’s Proposition 47 – lighter sentences for thieves
Proposition 47 was passed by California voters on November 5, 2014.
It made some ‘non-violent’ property crimes, where the value of the stolen goods does not exceed $950, into misdemeanors.
It also made some ‘simple’ drug possession offenses into misdemeanors, and allows past convictions for these charges to be reduced to a misdemeanor by a court.
Under California law, though, if two or more person’s conspire to ‘cheat and defraud any person or any property, by any means which are in themselves criminal’ they can face no more than one year in county prison, a fine of $10,000 or a combination of the two.
The Bay Area has been in the throes of a smash-and-grab epidemic, which has seen roving bands of thieves, sometimes armed with baseball bats, ransacking high-end stores and getting away with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
In late November, nearly 100 thieves wearing ski masks carried out a brazen smash-and-grab flash mob robbery at a Nordstrom store a San Francisco suburb, An estimated $125,000 in merchandise was stolen.
Security experts and officials agree that organized crime networks are responsible for many of the large-scale ‘smash-and-grab’ retail thefts, with syndicates recruiting young, low-level crooks and paying them $500 to $1,000 to steal specific items for resale online.
Aside from the organized crime rings, the growing problem has been attributed to police officers’ apparent reluctance to pursue retail criminals in the current political climate, prosecutors’ failure to prioritize larceny and theft, and the decriminalization of low-level offenses in some jurisdictions.
California Gov Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has vowed to crack down on gangs of retail thieves, despite a controversial 2014 law – Proposition 47 – that barred prosecutors from charging suspected shoplifters accused of stealing less than $950 worth of merchandise with felonies.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who earlier slashed $120million from the budgets of the city’s police and sheriff’s departments in response to demands from Black Lives Matter activists, on Tuesday announced she was asking the city’s Board of Supervisors for more money to be given to the police to stamp out drug dealing, car break-ins and theft.
Breed argued that San Francisco officers should get aggressive and ‘less tolerant of all the bulls*** that has destroyed our city’, as she went back on her plans to defund the police.
Mayor London Breed launched an emergency police intervention Tuesday aimed at curbing open drug use, brazen home break-ins and other criminal behaviors taking place in San Francisco’s crime-ridden Tenderloin neighborhood and across the city
‘It’s time the reign of criminals who are destroying our city, it is time for it to come to an end,’ she said. ‘And it comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement, more aggressive with the changes in our policies.’
Breed called for progressive policies that have allowed criminal behavior to make a mockery of the city’s famed tolerance and compassion to be replaced with ‘more aggressive policing’.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday slammed the ‘attitude of lawlessness’ sweeping the nation, citing the mobs of robbers have targeted luxury boutiques in her hometown of San Francisco and stores in other cities. But she stopped short of endorsing Mayor Breed’s plan to step up policing.