People are willing to go extra to avoid falling victim to car break-ins, and there are some who even risk all that they have, ABC7 reported.
Former San Francisco Police Department Deputy Chief Garret Tom said: “I’m shocked. There’s so much that can go wrong here.”
Car owners are leaving their vehicles unlocked and their windows open. There are some now who also leave their trunks vulnerable too. This strategy cannot easily get the approval of many as San Francisco and Oakland are seeing an increase in car break-in cases.
“Imagine having to clean out your car and leaving it open in public, just so people won’t break your windows. Oakland we looking sad man,” one who saw the measure being done said on social media.
“It doesn’t really surprise me,” Oakland’s Interim Deputy Police Chief Drennon Lindsey said, adding that the thieves are way ahead.
“Even if you think I’m just going to put my laptop in my trunk… if it’s on, they have technology to detect it in the car,” Lindsey said. “Even if it’s hidden.”
For about 4 decades as a police officer, Tom said that it is his first time learning how people can go this great length just to have their windows protected.
“We’re in different times… that’s unbelievable,” Tom told Stephanie Sierra of ABC7 as he looked at the photograph.
The move seems to invite more crime and even undesirable visitors.
“They could steal your batteries, your tires,” he said. “They could go into your glove compartment and find out where you live.”
So far this year, the police department has already reported a 32 percent spike in car break-ins as compared to the record last year. Auto burglaries also increased by 25 percent in the city, which is also about a similar trend seen in Oakland. There had been a nearly 27 percent rise in car break-ins and auto burglaries so far this year, as reported by OPD.
“We have got to do more to get us through this holiday season,” according to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, as she urged owners of private entities to invest in security cameras to detect suspects behind these crimes.
“Pointing the cameras towards the street and register it with the Oakland Police Department,” she said.
With the holiday season, patrols were boosted in high-traffic areas.
“Don’t leave valuables in the car, don’t even tuck things under your seat,” said Deputy Chief Lindsey.