SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco will now offer cash rewards in exchange for turning in criminals trafficking stolen goods.
San Francisco launched a new effort aimed at battling burglaries in the city and will now offer up to $100,00 for information leading to the arrest of people dealing in stolen belongings.
Investigators hope the promise of cold hard cash will convince some criminals to flip and turn in the people buying and selling stolen property.
It's a story that's repeated multiple times a day all over San Francisco — a car broken into with the items inside stolen.
"So we just walked up to our car, our window was broken and all our stuff was just gone," said Kaitlyn Janes from Littleton, Colorado.
Janes and her father Dave were in town on a West Coast college tour. They stopped for a last-minute treat at Ghiradelli Square and came back to find their car window smashed.
"They took passports, they took IDs, credit cards, and an iPad," said Janes. "They took my book! I was right in the middle of it!"
Just two hours earlier the mayor and police chief stood a block away, promoting a new plan aimed at disrupting the cycle of burglary.
City officials said the idea is to obstruct the chain, from burglar to fence to the end buyer of stolen goods.
"There are layers of profitability to make this work," said San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott. "Now, what we're trying to do, is this is another tool for us to try to address the people that are providing the infrastructure for this to exist."
The plan is a public-private partnership, with hospitality companies contributing $225,000 so far to the reward fund. A representative from Enterprise Rental Car Company said it's in their interest and in the interest of the city to use all means to try to bring an end to the auto and residential burglaries plaguing San Francisco.
"From the rental car companies standpoint, certainly rental cars are being targeted," said Eric Street from Enterprise. "But, also residents of San Francisco are being targeted as well."
Mayor London Breed said it's another tool the city can use to try and target burglars. Breed also highlighted the city's job training programs, saying they posed a safe alternative to a life of crime.
"There is a way to make a decent and honest living and we're here to work with people. But, once they cross that line we have a responsibility," Breed said.
As for the Janes family, they said they would likely miss their 3 p.m. flight to Colorado. The family said they were trying to workout out the logistics of flying home without identification.
City leaders say they've seen a 37% drop in auto burglaries since July when they increased the numbers of patrol officers and community ambassadors in high-risk areas. They say they hope this new plan builds on that progress.