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San Francisco Police Chief Pledges To Curb Epidemic Of Car Burglaries

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5 ) -- As the epidemic of car burglaries in San Francisco continues unabated, police and city officials are looking for a new way to address the problem.

The issue has gone from bad to worse this year, with car robberies spiking by at least 28 percent this year.

Police say around 85-car break-ins are reported in San Francisco each day.

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott says this problem has been on his mind since he took the job in January.

But he also is reminding San Francisco supervisors that he is new here and he doesn't need new regulations; he just needs time to do his job.

Tuesday he promised to deliver results.

If you ask anyone in San Francisco, they probably have a story for you about car break-ins.

"There's so many break-ins in Bernal Heights, there isn't a sidewalk that isn't covered in glass," said local resident Buck Bagot.

"I do see a lot of glass broken on the pavements where I go to work every day," said Anastaisios Staphopoulos, another area resident.

"If you own a car and drive you regularly expect to fix your window," said San Francisco Supervisor Hilary Ronen

SF Supervisors Ronen and Norman Yee in partnership with Chief Scott on Tuesday committed to dedicating staff at every single police station to have a team focused on car break-ins, property crime and bike theft.

Originally the supervisors planned to mandate this move with legislation, but Scott committed to take on the problem, saying a law doesn't need to pass for police to address the issue.

"We are judged by our results. Ultimately, at the end of the day, you're going to look at this police department by the end of next year and say, 'Did this stuff work?'" said Scott.

The SFPD already doubled its foot patrols and will add 270 more police officers to the force by the end of this year.

So far in 2017, there have been 19,975 car break-ins.

Chief Scott said he wants a chance to prove police can do this on their own. Ronen and Yee say they will give him that.

"We trust Chief Scott, said Yee.

The legislation mandating more patrols was introduced by Yee two years ago and vetoed by the mayor.

If the number of break-ins doesn't decrease, Supervisors Yee and Ronen say they will reintroduce the legislation they took off the table Tuesday.

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