SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — State Sen. Scott Wiener has announced a bill he says will make it harder for criminals to get away with car break-ins. The bill, Wiener says, is intended to eliminate the requirement that prosecutors prove a vehicle was locked at the time of the robbery.
Car break-ins have become all too common in San Francisco. Sharky Laguana is the CEO of Bandago, which rents vans to touring musicians. He says his customers have become sitting targets.
“In fact, this morning I looked it up and every single one of our vans has been broken into at least twice,” said Laguana.
He was joined at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Thursday by State Sen. Scott Wiener, SF Mayor London Breed and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. Currently, convicting a suspect of auto burglary requires proving that the vehicle was locked at the time of the break-in.
“It oftentimes, is a real challenge in the courtroom and it’s a challenge to us being able to effectively prosecute a crime that we know plagues San Francisco,” DA Jenkins said on Thursday.
Sen. Wiener says he’ll introduce a bill when the state legislature reconvenes next year that will eliminate the locked door rule. Current law requires victims to be physically present in the courtroom to testify that the car was locked.
“A tourist with a rental car and that tourist is now 3,000 miles away and they aren’t going to San Francisco to testify that they locked the car, or you might have a resident who simply doesn’t remember if they locked the car,” Sen. Wiener said.
If the senator’s law passes, evidence of forcible entry like a smashed-out window will be enough to prove the crime of auto burglary.
“We have to make it easier for our victims and make it harder for the people that victimize our victims,” said SF Police Chief Bill Scott.