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Warning: Burglars Casing Cars At Union Square Parking Garage

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- San Francisco shoppers are being warned to watch their backs once they park their cars.

One of the busiest shopping districts in the country, Union Square has become a favorite destination for some of the busiest burglars in San Francisco.

They aren't hitting the boutiques, they're casing the 1800 cars going in and out of the Sutter-Stockton parking garage each day.

San Francisco police officer Albie Esparza said burglars are scoping out a particular type of shopper.

"They'll see people come back with large items and put them in the trunk of their car, then go back do some more shopping," said Esparza. "Essentially, they now know there's some valuable in the car."

In the past year 80 break-ins were reported at the garage. That's equal to a third of all car burglaries in the northeast part of The City.

Outside the Stockton Sutter garage there are tiny green "no trespassing" signs. Inside the signage is bigger.

In light of the recent break-ins, drivers are greeted with a voice that warns, "Do not leave contents visible and secure your vehicle," when they pull their ticket to get their parking space.

While there are no plans to put more security cameras up, the vendor that operates the garage for The City is adding more security patrols.

The garage is also getting more visits from SFPD, in an effort to deter criminals from shopping on someone else's dime.

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