Car burglaries are exploding in the city of San Francisco.
The latest numbers show break-ins are up an astounding 47 percent over last year. Several factors are being cited, including prison realignment and California voters.
The problem isn’t limited to tourist spots, authorities said: It’s happening all over the city.
On the street in front of an upscale Potrero Hill restaurant, Skool, signs warn customers about car break-ins which have become a nightly occurrence, according to the owners, who said they’ve seen as many as five customers’ vehicles broken into in a single night.
In Mission Bay, the owner of seafood restaurant Mission Rock is telling a similar story.
“Pretty much every day you’ll see somebody casing cars,” said Pete Osborne of Mission Rock.
The owner of Mission Rock said he thinks catching the thieves accomplishes little. California voters’ approval of Prop 47 reduced possession of stolen property to a misdemeanor.
“Essentially you get a slap on the wrist, and those guys are back on the street that same night,” Osborne said.
There are signs up all around Mission Rock warning customers about leaving anything in their car. That’s not helping business, and it’s happening all over the city, in the Financial District, the Ferry Building, and residential neighborhoods near parks.
Police says they’re doing the best they can, but it’s a low-priority crime.
“It’s frustrating,” said Albie Esparza of the San Francisco Police Department. “We understand that totally we do our best and that’s the way the laws written as it is now.
When Prop 47 went on the ballot, the official voter information guide said state and local criminal justice savings could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. There wasn’t a word about the unanticipated costs of rising property crime.