SAN FRANCISCO—In a Central Station community newsletter released by the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) on June 25, an announcement was made about the rise in auto burglaries within San Francisco’s Central district. According to police reports, car break-ins have increased approximately 87 percent since 2014; nearly doubling the 1,290 reported break-ins from last year.

Central Station Commanding Officer, Captain David Lazar, stated that within a two-day span, “there were 26 reported incidents on my desk.” 

In recent reports, District 2 and 3 in the Northeast, are now seeing a spike in auto burglaries. The Northeast District is considered “the heart of San Francisco,” and home to Downtown, the Financial District, Nob Hill, North Beach, North Waterfront, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, the Tenderloin, and Van Ness/Civic Center.

Many of these neighborhoods possess the city’s main tourist attractions; from cable cars to Fisherman’s Wharf, and Union Square. These areas often serve as distraction opportunities when burglars target people who are distracted and diverting their attention from their belongings. According to authorities, many of these break-ins occur in broad daylight; even around crowded areas such as the city’s well-known Lombard Street. Local residents have started community watch groups in an effort to raise awareness about the stagnating burglaries and crime rates.

According to police reports, the most common vehicles that have been broken into, are 90s model Hondas. The SFPD is urging residents to take precautionary measures to avoid auto property damage and theft. In a recent report, Lazar stated that a visiting couple had left their car street-parked in a tourist area for no more than 40 minutes. 

When they returned to their car, the passenger window had been smashed open, and over $10,000 had been stolen from their trunk. The SFPD recommends the following safety precautions to be taken by the general public, including—adding additional anti-theft devices to vehicles, and taking personal belongings completely out of the vehicle; not just out of plain sight. The SFPD has been making perpetual increases in security measures with regards to targeted areas.