San Francisco car break-ins drop steeply, officials claim

The San Francisco Police Department is cracking down on car break-ins.

The number of auto burglaries has been cut in half, with a 51 percent drop over the last 3 months compared to the same time period in 2022, according to Mayor London Breed’s office.

"We're not anywhere close to where we want to be," SFPD Chief Bill Scott told KTVU. "I was driving yesterday and saw a car with the back window broken out, it just breaks my heart when I see that. We have to continue to work very hard to make sure that we continue to reduce the number of victims in our city."

Police are using bait cars, undercover officers, increased patrols, and investigating organized crime rings which the city said are committing a lot of car burglaries.

"We all believe that's paid off, and the news is good," Chief Scott said.

Still, there have been 15,000 car break-ins in San Francisco from January through October, according to city stats.

According to investigators, they typically see a 10 percent drop in break-ins after a group of burglary suspects are arrested.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s office is targeting burglary suspects to keep them off the streets.

"That means for prolific and repeat offenders of auto burglaries we are ensuring that not only do we have appropriate consequences on the table, but we're asking that judges detain these individuals in custody while their cases are open," District Attorney Brooke Jenkins told KTVU.

Breed is supporting legislation through the Board of Supervisors, to install 400 license plate reader cameras at 100 intersections.

There was a temporary drop in auto burglaries in 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic, but the numbers climbed again 2021 and 2022.

The Mayor’s office also reported a 75 percent drop in retail theft from the recent Black Friday shopping weekend, compared to 2022.