Legislation calls for auto break-in warnings for tourists renting cars in San Francisco

In this May 12, 2016 photo, Jeremiah Munavu, lead technician at Auto Glass Now, installs a new window on a car in a garage in San Francisco. Across the street from San Francisco's main jail, business is booming at Auto Glass Now where annoyed motorists line up daily to get broken side windows in their vehicles replaced. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
In this May 12, 2016 photo, Jeremiah Munavu, lead technician at Auto Glass Now, installs a new window on a car in a garage in San Francisco. Across the street from San Francisco's main jail, business is booming at Auto Glass Now where annoyed motorists line up daily to get broken side windows in their vehicles replaced. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) —¬†Legislation introduced this week would require car rental companies to warn tourists about San Francisco’s high number of auto break-ins and provide tips for how to avoid becoming a target.

The legislation by Board of Supervisors President London Breed and Supervisor Norman Yee was introduced Tuesday in response to police data showing that a large number of car break-ins occur in and around tourist destinations.

Auto burglaries in San Francisco reached a five-year high in 2015 with 24,826 reported incidents, nearly three times the number reported in 2011, according to Breed. Many thieves target tourists and rental cars.

“We’re hearing that crews from all over the Bay Area are coming into the city to hit tourist destinations,” Breed said. “Unsuspecting tourists leave luggage in their trunks and valuables out in plain view, without realizing their passports and belongings are at risk of getting stolen in less than 30 seconds.”

The legislation would require rental companies to provide written disclosures to customers at the time of rental and also place warnings in cars.

Breed said auto burglaries went down by nearly 50 percent in the Alamo Square area after warning signs were installed in February, suggesting that such warnings can be effective.

Breed said she also plans to convene a working group of city agencies and community members to develop additional solutions. The group will hold its first meeting on Oct. 11.

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