SAN FRANCISCO - Most people who park in San Francisco worry whether they will find their vehicle in one piece when they return.
This week, authorities issued 30 warrants as part of Operation Focus Lens, which resulted in the takedown of the criminal enterprise and hopefully leads to a reduction in vehicle break-ins in the future.
Interim San Francisco District Attorney Suize Loftus announced on Thursday the results of the operation.
“You’ll also see what looks like maybe a college student’s laptop that was probably in a backpack that was stolen from a car here in San Francisco, said Loftus as she described some of the stolen goods that was laid out on a table to show the magnitude the operation.
Authorities raided the still undisclosed location from which the criminals operated.
Officers also raided a storage facility belonging to one of the thieves and found $750,000 worth of clothing with the tags still attached.
“One of the ways we confirmed that they might be doing something was the number of packages that were coming from this location and going out of state,” Loftus said in a press conference.
The crooks also hit retailers in San Francisco where authorities have been trying to rain in a rise property crime, which is projected to increase from 47,990 incidents last fiscal year.
“I hope that criminals are starting to take us seriously, said Chief Ernie Sanchez with the CHP Golden Gate Division.
Authorities say these groups are behind the heart-stopping moments so many of us experience after arriving at their packed car to find a shattered window and valuables missing.
According to San Francisco Police, there were 24,920 thefts from vehicles in 2018.
So far, in 2019, there has been a reduction in car break-ins at 20,584.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s office has now focused on returning the stolen items to their rightful owners.
“If you had a phone or computer stolen in an auto burglary and this is the key thing… if you have a serial number to identify that item, can you please contact us, said Loftus.
“Victims of cell phone or laptop robbery can call a hotline and report the International Mobile Equipment Identity, or IMEI, number of their stolen property, which can often be found through cloud services. This allows stolen property to be returned to victims and could aid ongoing investigations. The number is 628-652-4343.”
Authorities have not released how many people have been arrested in the operation.