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San Francisco Drivers Leaving Notes To Discourage Car Break-Ins

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Drivers who park in San Francisco are trying a subtle tactic to convince thieves to stay away from their cars.

San Francisco Police recently released video of a break-in by 27-year-old Tyrell Baldwin that shows the suspect smashing a car window in the Tenderloin before stealing items from inside. The large number of break-ins across the city has SF car owners trying to send a message to protect their vehicles

Car owners are posting signs insisting there is nothing worth stealing inside their vehicles. A website shows a number of examples. One sign reads 'No valuables inside. Keep moving.' Another note says, 'Dear criminals, Please stop breaking into my car. There is nothing left.' A third reads, 'Nothing of value inside. I promise!'

SF resident Nieka Carson thinks it's a good idea and wants to add note on her own car

"So I've seen maybe five cars that have signs like that. And I thought that's a good idea 'cause I live in the Tenderloin and there are a lot of car break-ins," said Carson. "So I need to do that actually I might put one in."

But other locals say the signs won't stop determined thieves from breaking into cars.

"A sign is a sign. The only thing that's going to deter thieves and breaking into cars is the police or some protection on your vehicle," said San Francisco resident Trevor Taylor.

Louie Chen, the main manager of TLC Glass, actually encourages his customers who have had their windows smashed by thieves to write a note. He says it works.

"And I do have a customer who's come in a couple times and started writing notes and I haven't seen him come back again," said Chen.

One car owner KPIX 5 spoke with said they had brought their vehicle into TLC Glass three times to get windows replaced after break-ins, each repair costing $300.

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