San Francisco

SF Tops FBI List For Property Crime Rate Among Big US Cities

New FBI data show San Francisco has the highest property crime rate among America’s most populated cities, but there could be a silver lining to the report.

The FBI numbers go through 2017, and this year, things appear to be turning around.

Residents, meantime, don't have to be reminded that a spike car break-ins has contributed greatly to the property crime rating.

Resident Anna Lee, who walks dogs near Alamo Square, said the sight of broken glass in the street isn't as common as it used to be.

"Three or four times a morning, I would be walking in the neighborhood, and I’d see a car and glass broken," Lee said.

Concentrated campaigns have helped stem the break-in epidemic. But not before San Francisco jumped to the top spot in the country for property crime rate in 2017, according to the FBI's annual crime report.

The City by the Bay recorded 6,168 property crimes per 100,000 people, or about 150 property crimes a day, in 2017.

Officer Giselle Linnane says the data shapes the department’s strategy and led to the creation of a General Crimes Unit.’

"You know, the numbers are the numbers," Linnane said. "And that is something that we ourselves are constantly trying to look at. What (the General Crimes Unit) does, and allows, is for us to have a bigger picture. Seeing what’s going on around the city. Because, while we do share information, what we’ve noticed is that a lot of these crimes are being conducted by the same people."

Max Szabo, with the District Attorney’s Office, says sometimes the changes are more obvious month-to-month. After smashing’ records, San Francisco consistently sees a drop of 15-20 percent, he said.

"When we’ve indicted individuals for multiple auto burglaries — I mean 8, 9, 10, which is difficult to do because we have to build bigger cases to show that they actually committed all those crimes — we actually see a dip in the numbers, overnight," Szabo said.

The number peaked at 20 percent down, but Szabo says car break-ins always spike in the summer.

Contact Us