Tourist's car burglarized near where SFPD announced new tact to crack down on car break-ins

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Friday, August 25, 2023
Tourist's car burglarized near SFPD's break-in news conference
A San Francisco tourist's car was burglarized near the Palace of Fine Arts, just near where police announced new tact to crack down on car break-ins.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Police in San Francisco have a new plan Thursday to crack down on brazen smash and grab car break-ins, which seem to be happening almost daily. Now, city officials say enough is enough.

"People who do this need to be held accountable," said SFPD Chief William Scott.

Scott was talking about a crime spree that's reached epidemic proportions. Brazen car break-ins seem to be happening everyday across the city, especially in popular tourist areas.

"We are restarting our deployment to tourist areas," said Scott.

MORE: SF business owner hands out 'do not break into this car' signs to protect customers

Scott says his department is adding more officers in neighborhoods where break ins are happening, even using 'bait cars' to catch thieves.

"When people come to the city breaking into cars, they may be breaking into cars put there by the San Francisco Police Department. We intend to catch people in the act," said Scott.

"What an ironic thing, what are the chances," said Lindsay Dobbelare.

Ironic, considering moments before this news conference began at the Palace of Fine Arts, tourist Lindsay Dobbelare from Missouri got her family's rental car broken into near the same spot.

MORE: Video shows thieves break into 3 cars in less than 2 minutes near Fisherman's Wharf

Video shows thieves breaking into three cars in less than two minutes near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

"So we pulled over, parked, got out, did a little sightseeing had our back glass shattered, four backpacks stolen with electronics, passports all that good stuff," said Dobbelare.

After an officer took their report, we asked the chief about what just happened.

"My reaction? I'm sick and tired of this happening to people in the city, I've had my car broken into, it impacts us all," said Scott.

The SFPD says so far this year, there's been 13,331 reported car break-ins, compared to 13,493 for the same period in 2022.

San Francisco DA Brooke Jenkins is promising penalties for those caught.

EXCLUSIVE: SF business owner patrols neighborhood with imitation gun, ski mask to scare off thieves

"That's what we're trying to re-instill in San Francisco, is not only will you be caught but when you're prosecuted there will be a consequence for that behavior," said Jenkins.

Marina District neighbors like Dahphe are hopeful the break-ins can be stopped.

"It's been going on too long, we need to do more, the only thing we've seen work is actual police presence," said Daphne.

Meantime, Lindsay from Missouri says she'll come back to San Francisco but with a few changes.

"If you're going to sightsee, leave your stuff in the hotel, just Uber somewhere," said Dobbleare.

INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live