SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A post from San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston is now going viral online. On Wednesday, Preston taking to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to urge the city to launch a campaign telling visitors not to leave things in their cars.
The supervisor says the move would dramatically reduce car break-ins.
The tweet getting noticed by several of Preston's political opponents, including Elon Musk who said he'd donate $100,000 to help defeat him in the next election.
"That's not instead of enforcement. The police department, the DA will work on the enforcement side of it," Preston said.
During an interview, Preston said his tweet was taken out of context by Musk and others.
He tells me he believes the city needs a multi-faceted approach to tackle the car break-in epidemic.
That's why he hosted a special hearing Thursday, bringing together several city agencies to try and find solutions to the problem.
"Let's actually have real signage with graphics that are clear to people no matter what language they speak. Let's have community ambassadors who are out there handing a similar flier to people as they park," said Preston.
San Francisco has averaged between 15,000-20,000 car break ins a year since around 2017.
A fact that perpetuates negative perceptions of the city for both locals and visitors alike, says Sharky Laguana.
"When visitors come here and their windows are broken and their luggage is stolen, their passports are stolen, their computers are stolen, it doesn't make them want to come back," he said.
Laguana is the president of the American Car Rental Association. He says leaving your car empty doesn't always help.
"It's certainly no guarantee. I've had my car broken into many times and it didn't have anything in it," Laguana said.
Laguana says San Francisco has been trying the same failed methods to prevent car break ins for years, and that leaders need new solutions.
"This is where we're coming up short. We're just unable to catch these people doing it," said Laguana.
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