San Francisco

San Francisco City Leaders Work on Car Break-In ‘Epidemic'

Car break-ins have been a huge problem in virtually every corner of San Francisco, something city leaders have been working on.

It only takes a few moments for someone to bust a window, it happened more than 30,000 times last year, something police describe as epidemic levels.

"I always like to make sure that my cell phone, my wallet is all out of sight," said San Francisco resident Alexis Streeter.

District Attorney George Gascón said Friday that investigators have been zeroing in on so-called car burglary hotspots bringing break-ins down 20 percent, and in some cases setting up stings to catch criminals in the act.

"What we did is we started looking at patterns of crime in that area," Gascón said.

He said police busted two people who they believe were working together to break into cars in a Safeway parking lot on Monterey Boulevard in San Francisco.

"It doesn’t surprise me that any parking lot would be a hotspot," said Michelle Schurig from San Francisco.

Undercover officers staked out the lot for weeks and said they ultimately caught the two men in the act and they’ve now been convicted of felony auto burglary.

"What made the case so strong was the fact that we were able to identify many other cases that were connected to the same people," Gascón said.

The city’s district attorney said since they arrested both men in January, there has not been a single reported car break-in in that parking lot.

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