San Francisco officials unveil new plan to reduce car break-ins

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San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell and police Chief Bill Scott today announced a new campaign to help reduce the wave of car break-ins that has been plaguing the city and the rest of the Bay Area.

Although car break-ins in the city have decreased by 17 percent compared to the previous year, Farrell said there is still more work that needs to be done.

This morning, the duo revealed new initiatives that would help prevent and combat the crimes, including increased foot patrols, units dedicated to dealing with property crimes, expanded investigative resources at district stations, more training in fingerprinting, and the launch of a new public awareness campaign.

"We're making significant progress addressing car break-ins, but we will not rest on our laurels -- we know that there is a ton of work left to do," Farrell said in a statement. "We will continue to pursue targeted solutions until every one of our residents and visitors can park their cars 
with confidence and security."

In an effort to prevent the crimes before they even start, San Francisco police will increase training and resources for fingerprinting services, including the training of up to 36 members to fingerprint at all 10 
district stations.

With the increased training, police will be able to have a stronger fingerprint database, resulting in more efficient ways to solve the crimes and also catch serial vehicle burglars.

"By requesting that their vehicles be fingerprinted, auto burglary victims can help our investigators develop leads on these types of cases," Scott said in a statement.

In addition to the increased police efforts, Farrell and Scott announced the "Park Smart" campaign that is geared toward tourists to remind them not to leave valuables in unattended vehicles.

Park Smart materials such as pamphlets have been distributed at break-in hotspots such as Fifth Street, Mission Street, Dolores Park, Fisherman's Wharf, Alamo Square and the Palace of Fine Arts. Additionally, signs have been posted on San Francisco Municipal Railway buses, parking 
meters and parking garages.

The campaign also includes postcards distributed to police stations and the city's Office of Short-Term Rentals and messages displayed on electronic signs along city streets, according to Farrell's office.