San Francisco interim DA creates task force aimed at curbing car break-ins

Burglars break in an estimated 70 vehicles every day in San Francisco, now the city's interim district attorney has created a task force aimed at cracking down on auto burglaries.

It's a story that unfolds dozens of times a day on streets throughout San Francisco. Now Interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus has brought together law enforcement agencies throughout the city with one goal, to reduce auto burglaries.

Auto burglaries have gotten so bad in the city that residents warn visiting family members not leave anything of value in their vehicles, even if it's hidden. 

"They think, I put my laptop under the mat of the car," said Via Vigil-Ortiz from San Francisco. "I go, are you kidding me? They look in with flashlights and they can see that there is a bump. Yes, they're going to break into my car because they want to see what's there."

"So the question is, what do we do about it? We know each of these incidents has a victim," said Interim DA Loftus.

Interim DA Loftus announced a task force, operation Tangled Web. Made up of prosecutors, San Francisco Sheriff's Office, and police, all targeting geographic hot spots and those who buy and sell stolen goods.

The police chief saying the numbers for auto burglaries are trending down. But, not fast enough. "Although we've had modest reductions this year It's not enough. These crimes haunt our city," said Police Chief Bill Scott.

The California Highway Patrol says many cases of auto burglary are related to organized crime, a factor the agency's wide reach will help address 'We will be able to assist them with these organizations that are coming from outside the city," said Ernie Sanchez from the CHP. "Not just from the Bay Area, but from the state of California and maybe even from throughout the nation."

Loftus said only about 2 percent of those responsible for auto burglaries are held to account-- the focus for investigators and prosecutors needs to be on results.

"A lot of folks come here because they think they're going to get away with it," she said. "Today is about all of these agencies working together with a unified message, that we're going to work together to hold people accountable."

The Interim DA says this will be a 60 day targeted enforcement, before the holidays, after that they will look at the data and figure out what worked and what didn't.

And speaking of timing, this announcement by Interim DA Loftus comes just days before voters decide who will fill that seat for the next term.