San Francisco

Spike in Car and Home Break-Ins Causing a Glass Shortage in the South Bay

The continuous spike of vehicle and residential break-ins is creating a familiar problem in the South Bay: A shortage of glass to replace lost windows and doors.

NBC Bay Area reported on the long delays in repairs in San Francisco caused by jumps in crime, and now the problem is spreading south.

For Bill Donovan, owner of Auto Glass Masters in San Jose, spike in business is not necessarily a bad thing. But the reason he's getting the the constant stream of customers is an issue.

"All break-ins. All vandals," Donovan said. "Locally it's widespread. It does not matter what area you live in. Phones go nuts on Monday morning."

Sometimes, he said, his shop doesn't have enough glass in stock to keep up.

Break-in victim Shaunn Cartwright was lucky. Donovan made an extra effort to get her window replaced in two days. Other places she called pleaded a "glass shortage."

"They said because there's a lot of break-ins lately, and there had been the most they've had in a long time," Cartwright said.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office confirmed it's a growing trend, and during the holidays, it will get worse.

"People, if they see valuables in view through the window, it only takes a second to break a window and run off with the valuables," sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Richard Glennon said.

Auto Glass Masters and other businesses say as bad as things are right now, they can more or less keep up with the demand. But if the break-ins continue to spike, the situation is not so clear.

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