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Mayor Mark Farrell and San Francisco Police Chief William Scott Annouce New Campaign to Prevent and Respond to Car Break-ins

Mayor Mark Farrell and San Francisco Police Chief William Scott today announced a new campaign to prevent and respond to car break-ins, which will include increased foot patrols, units dedicated to deal with property crimes, expanded investigative resources at district stations, more training for fingerprinting and the launch of a new public awareness campaign.

During the first three months of 2018, car break-ins decreased 17 percent compared to the prior year as a result of ongoing efforts from the San Francisco Police Department to address property crimes. To address these issues, Mayor Farrell and the SFPD have doubled foot patrols, established a new robbery and burglary unit and increased resources and staffing for the prevention, reporting and investigation of these crimes.

“We are 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,” said Mayor Farrell. “We will continue to pursue targeted solutions until every one of our residents and visitors can park their cars with confidence and security.”

Today, the Mayor announced the rollout of Park Smart, a public awareness campaign that includes informational pamphlets and coordinated messaging with travel and tourism industries. Park Smart alerts motorists and visitors that “If You Love It, Don’t Leave It,”—a reminder to not leave valuables in unattended vehicles. The campaign is part of the San Francisco Police Department’s efforts to prevent crimes before they occur.

In addition to the Park Smart campaign, the SFPD announced today that it will be increasing training and resources for fingerprinting services tied to car break-ins. The SFPD is training 36 members to fingerprint at all 10 district stations. The goal of the increased training is to encourage car break-in victims to get their cars fingerprinted, even if they did not call the police in direct response to the crime. With a stronger database of fingerprints, the SFPD will have additional resources to investigate car break-ins, particularly serial cases.

“By requesting that their vehicles be fingerprinted, auto burglary victims can help our investigators develop leads on these types of cases,” said Police Chief Scott. “Through a combination of preventive, enforcement and investigative efforts, we’ve seen a remarkable decrease in auto burglaries compared to last year. We are keeping the momentum going by rolling out Park Smart to avoid becoming an easy target and calling the police to report these crimes when they do occur.”

Park Smart materials have been distributed in car break-in hot spots at 5th Street and Mission Street, Dolores Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alamo Square and the Palace of Fine Arts. Park Smart messaging has been affixed to parking meters, garages and Muni buses. Additionally, Park Smart postcards have been distributed to police stations and the Office of Short Term Rentals and electronic message alerts will be displayed on local streets.

The campaign is the result of a multi-faceted public and private partnership, involving the San Francisco Police Department, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Office of Short Term Rentals, the Department of Emergency Management, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, 311, SF Travel and community benefit districts. Park Smart materials are available to download here.

"Everyone in the Fisherman’s Wharf community works hard to ensure our visitors have an enjoyable visit to San Francisco and Fisherman’s Wharf,” said Troy Campbell, Executive Director of the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District. “However, all that work can be undone in a matter of seconds by an auto break-in. By coming together and proliferating this message in both the public and private sectors we can greatly increase the awareness to residents and visitors, and the precautions they take when departing their parked vehicles.”

 

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