Watch CBS News

Epidemic Of Car Break-Ins Makes Parking A Nightmare For Bay Area Drivers

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- Car break-ins are on the rise across the Bay Area. In fact, 2017 was a record-breaking year for our three largest cities.

We're seeing record numbers of car burglaries in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. Chances it has happened to you or someone you know.

San Francisco leads the pack with 31,120 break-ins last year.

In the same period, San Jose reported 6,476 car burglaries. That number is the highest the city has ever seen and a 17 percent increase compared to 2016.

It was also a record year in Oakland with 10,007 reported cases in 2017, up 32% compared to the previous year.

ALSO READ: Film Of San Francisco After 1906 Quake Found At Flea Market

Unlike San Francisco, where burglars are targeting rental cars and tourist destinations, in Oakland, the majority of the break-ins are in commercial districts, where people go shop and dine.

The Oakland Police Department says more than 60 percent of the auto burglaries happened west of Lake Merritt, in North and West Oakland, thought there are fewer homicides, and more burglaries. It's the opposite in East Oakland, where there are fewer burglaries and more homicides.

One reason for the uptick is that the items left in cars have gotten more expensive over the years, like laptops and smart phones.

Also, the chances of getting caught are very slim. In San Francisco, for example, not even 2 percent of the thieves are nabbed.

• ALSO READ: Bay Area Experiences Mass Exodus Of Residents

"My car has been broken into 4 times. I'm frustrated because nothing is being done," says Edgar Garcia, who lives in the City's the Mission District. "Now, I'm debating if I should sell my car but I have two kids and need my car for my kids."

In San Francisco the District Attorney is asking the city for $1 million dollars to form a burglary Task Force.

But in most Bay Area cities, it's a low priority crime. The statistical truth is very few car burglaries get solved.

To make matters worse, these statistics are just reported break-ins. Police say the actual numbers are likely much higher, because many car burglary victims don't even bother reporting them anymore.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.