Anti-burglary neighborhood network created in response to spike in crime

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – In response to the recent increase in burglaries, San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani created what’s called the “Anti-Burglary Neighborhood Network.” 

It’s a website and group of people to connect residents in her district with community safety resources, neighbors, and current crime data and trends.

This network was actually inspired by residents in the Richmond District, who came together to create a neighborhood watch type of group and provide safety tips to their fellow neighbors.

Their tips are now preventing others from becoming victims.

“Definitely we are seeing an increase in burglaries and an increase in people feeling very nervous,” Stefani said. 

Supervisor Stefani represents district two which includes neighborhoods like the Marina, Presidio, Russian Hill and Pacific Heights. 

Her office just created a resource for residents known as the anti-burglary neighborhood network, which connects people to community resources, crime data, safety tips and other neighbors.

“We want people to have a place to go to where they can learn about community safety resources, how to protect themselves, connect them to neighbors, to help them understand crime trends,” Stefani said. 

Stefani, together with several police captains, revealed some of those trends in a community webinar on Wednesday saying most of the burglaries are happening between 10 p.m and 6 a.m.

“3/21 to about 3/28 within the Northern District burglary and residential structures, we had 24 for that reporting period. That’s up from 11 from the last reporting period of the prior week,” Captain Derek Jackson said.

Residents like Mark Dietrich who organized his own neighborhood group in the Richmond are finding that a majority of thieves are gaining access to homes through the garage. 

Dietrich and his neighbors originally launched their own community website known as stop Richmond burglary, where they’ve shared the best tips to prevent burglars from gaining access.

“The most frequent way that the burglars break in is that red cord that dangles. They just pull that cord by cutting a hole or reaching through a gap, a broken window with a wire. Once they get that cord that the latch is attached to, boom they’re in and so there are devices you can purchase. I got one right here,” Dietrich said.

In addition to using emergency latch covers, Dietrich and his neighbors noticed that covering any windows or openings in the garage, getting a loud alarm system and using deadbolts that automatically lock and unlock when you open the garage have been most successful in preventing burglaries.

Meanwhile, Supervisor Stefani says the city also needs to work on recruiting and hiring more police officers.

“If we look at other cities per 10,000 residents, we know that New York is at 44 officers per 10,000. Washington, DC is at 61 and we are only at 22 so something we really need to focus on,” Stefani said.

Stefani says San Francisco is dramatically understaffed, over 500 officers short, and because of that, she’ll be holding a hearing on police staffing on April 14th during the city’s public safety committee meeting.