SANTA CLARA (KRON) — Vehicle break-ins in Santa Clara are on the way back down.
That follows an upward trend in recent years. New numbers reported to the state Department of Justice show a significant spike in auto burglaries from 2013 to 2014, peaking last year when almost 1,400 break-ins were reported.
At least 150 of those break-ins are blamed on a West Oakland crew, known as the Ghost Town Gang.
‘Smash and grab’ thefts were occurring in strip mall parking lots across the Bay Area before 21 suspects were indicted in December of last year.
Santa Clara police also attribute the spike in vehicle break-ins to the passage of Proposition 47, which reduced property crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Police said they have made the vehicle break-ins a priority and that the upward trend is now going in the other direction.
There have been 160 reported so far this year while there were 314 break-ins by this time a year ago.
KRON’s Rob Fladeboe will have a full report during KRON News at 6 p.m.