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Auto Burglaries Skyrocket 47-Percent In San Francisco After Penalties Reduced

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Auto burglaries are up a whopping 47 percent in San Francisco after California lessened the penalty for non-violent crimes in the past year.

San Francisco Auto Repair Center's Tim Staubitz has had his hands full repairing busted windows.

"All it takes is just one window, and they can open up all the doors from there," Staubitz said.

He hears the same story all the time, just from different victims.

"Some people shrug it off and say, 'oh well, that's just living in a city,' other people, of course are somewhat less than amused, which I can understand," Staubitz said.

Also not amused by the uptick in thefts and burglaries is Officer Carlos Manfredi from the San Francisco Police Department.

"Huge gains as far as what they take from the vehicle," Manfredi said.

Ever since the penalty for non-violent crimes has been reduced, the number of car break-ins in the city skyrocketed 47-percent from January to June, and that doesn't surprise Manfredi.

"That's not surprising.  More criminals on the street means your property crime is going to increase," Manfredi said. "If they're just getting released, the chances of them offending again are likely."

Police say the solution is stronger sentencing.   In the meantime, Staubitz' auto repair shop has been busy, whether he likes it or not.

"No one wants to benefit from someone's misfortune," Staubitz said.

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