San Francisco

San Francisco Superior Court Reveals 57 Percent of Auto Burglary Defendants End Up With Jail or Prison Time

The San Francisco Superior Court opened up old car-break-in cases resolved in 2017 to show exactly what happens to people caught burglarizing vehicles in the city.

As the car burglary epidemic continues, residents wonder if those breaking into cars are dealing with consequences and paying for their actions.

More than half of the 417 cases reviewed by the court ended with jail sentences and some even prison sentences, totaling a 57 percent conviction rate for auto burglaries.

The court said that 85 percent of those who served time, served just under four months before entering a plea deal. Those sentenced by a judge served just over four months.

If the person convicted had clean records, the average jail time dropped to one and half months, officials said.

San Francisco's District Attorney's Office said that the data it reviewed shows even higher custody time for the break-ins in 2017.

"The data we have reviewed, shows that auto burglary dispositions from 2017, incidents that occurred in 2017, that actually we received custody time in 74 percent of those incidents," said Max Szabo from the city's district attorney's office.

San Francisco's nearly 30,000 car break-ins last year shattered previous crime records and illustrate an organized and elaborate crime operation that law enforcement calls an "epidemic," NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit reported.

"We've been busy almost every day to a point where a lot of employees are tired now because they don't even get a break," said Hank Wee from In and Out Auto Glass in San Francisco.

Wee said the shop can receive more than 50 cars per day requesting break-in repairs.

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