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Video: Brazen Thieves Break Into Home Garages in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Burglars are getting even bolder in San Francisco. They are not just targeting cars -- they're going after home garages in the city.

A Cow Hollow homeowner told KPIX 5 that a thief broke into his garage, while he and his wife were asleep in December. The suspects pulled off the theft in less than 5 minutes.

The burglar created a small hole in the garage door and stuck what looked like a fishing tool through it to grab onto the emergency release cord.

Once inside, security video captured the suspect looking around and grabbing a bag before leaving and shutting the garage door behind him.

"If you can't feel safe in your own home, while you're sleeping at night, then it's really, really stressful to live in the city," said Mark, who declined to share his last name for privacy reasons.

Mark said the suspect took a bag with personal effects inside. The bag itself held sentimental value.

His security video also showed the thief and his lookout, who was holding an umbrella.

"They were very bold. They were on multiple cameras, they're not even wearing masks, so it just shows that they're probably not worried about any ramifications," said Mark.

In November, KPIX 5 first reported on thieves using drills and makeshift tools to break into garages in the exclusive neighborhood of Pacific Heights.

"We had our garage drilled into about eight times," said homeowner Paul Banas. "They're going in, they're trying to grab the emergency cord, so they can pull up the garage, the garage door, and take whatever is inside it. And since that time, they hit again. They came in the middle of the night, they tried to punch out the vent, and drilled another big hole."

Banas said this time, the thief also put black latex gloves over his outdoor lights to hide the suspect's activity.

His neighbor's garage was also recently hit.

"They have one of those old-fashioned pull up garage doors...not motorized and I guess they took a crowbar and pulled it off its hinges, and now he's out a garage door. He's going to have to replace a garage door," said Banas.

Since the December break-in, Mark has installed an automatic garage door lock to add another layer of protection. It makes it more difficult for thieves to manually open the garage.

"I was born in San Francisco," he said. "I've lived here my whole life and this is the most unsafe I've ever felt. I feel like I'm numb to all the crime, and that's just such a sad state of affairs."

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