SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — There’s a renewed effort to crack down on a crime that’s top of mind for many San Franciscans, auto break-ins.
Some city supervisors are pushing legislation that would dedicate police officers to tackling this skyrocketing crime trend.
“You inconvenience the person who now has to spend more money that they didn’t have to go fix something they shouldn’t have to fix,” a man said who had to buy a new rear windshield after thieves broke into this Chevy in McLaren Park on Saturday. “It’s a pain in the behind.”
And he’s not alone.
In the first six months of this year, San Francisco saw nearly 3,000 more property crimes like auto smash-and-grabs than in the first six months of last year.
And sometimes those car break-ins are more than just a nuisance.
This August, 23-year-old Abel Esquivel Jr. was fatally shot during an armed robbery with a gun stolen from the personal car of a San Francisco police officer.
In 2015, Kate Steinle was killed by a gun that had been stolen from the car belonging to a federal ranger.
A hearing at City Hall is scheduled for next Wednesday to discuss Supervisors Norman Yee and Hillary Ronen’s proposed ordinance that would require each of San Francisco’s police stations to dedicate at least one officer to investigate property crimes.
A similar ordinance passed last year but was vetoed by the mayor. Supervisor Yee believes the time is right to try again.
“We cannot just do nothing,” Supervisor Yee said. “We have to move forward, this is drastic now. People are not only getting their property stolen, now people are getting killed because of the property that’s been stolen.”
If passed the ordinance would require those dedicated officers to focus on car break-ins and bike thefts for the first year. But if another property crime turns out to be a bigger problem, like if there’s a spike in home burglaries in a particular instance, then those units would be able to refocus their efforts.
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