Town of San Diego skilled a gentle rise in automobile burglaries over three years — rising at a median of 270 instances per yr from 2016 to 2018— mirroring tendencies in different California cities together with Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose.


San Diego noticed automobile break-ins spike 12 p.c from 2015 to 2016, based on San Diego Police Division information. Burglaries continued to rise practically 3 p.c in 2017 and 5 p.c in 2018.

This yr, break-ins are down 6 p.c when in comparison with the identical time final yr, though the quantity remains to be above town’s four-year common.

Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose additionally confronted marked elevated in automobile break-ins, based on a Los Angeles Occasions report. Between 2015 and 2017, automobile thefts rose over 14 p.c in Los Angeles. From 2016 to 2017, San Francisco jumped 24 p.c in automobile burglaries. And between 2016 and 2018, San Jose noticed a 20 p.c enhance in break-ins.

This led state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to suggest closing a loophole in state legislation that permits some break-ins to go unpunished, however the California Legislature shelved the invoice for a second yr in a row.

The proposed change in the legislation would imply prosecutors would now not should show {that a} automobile was locked on the time of a break-in, a stipulation distinctive to auto and cargo container burglaries. There is no such thing as a such requirement in instances involving different forms of burglaries. For instance, prosecutors don’t should show {that a} home or a enterprise was locked earlier than a break-in.

Supporters of the invoice say the legislation must be modified as a result of automobile burglaries have reached epidemic ranges in some cities, particularly San Francisco, which has a median of 70 automobile burglaries on daily basis, based on officers.

“It’s ridiculous that below present legislation you’ll be able to have a video of somebody bashing out a automobile window, however if you happen to can’t show that the door is locked you might not be capable to get an auto housebreaking conviction,” Wiener instructed the Occasions.

Wiener launched the laws on the request of the San Francisco District Lawyer’s Workplace.

The proposal was shelved in the state’s Meeting Appropriations Committee, chaired by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego). She declined to touch upon why her committee held Wiener’s proposal, however did point out that value is at all times an element in their choice making.

“With billions of {dollars} of recent taxpayer prices being proposed by new laws yearly, the Appropriations Committee considers the deserves of a whole lot of payments—together with some excellent concepts—earlier than making very laborious choices concerning the fiscal priorities of our state,” Gonzalez stated in a press release.

Members of the committee estimated that the invoice would value courts “a whole lot of 1000’s” of {dollars} for extra prosecutions and counties in the “low thousands and thousands” as jail populations would enhance, the Los Angeles Occasions reported.

Though town of San Diego confronted regular will increase in automobile burglaries, the upward pattern didn’t prolong to all cities in San Diego County. Each Escondido and La Mesa noticed yearly decreases in automobile burglaries since 2015, whereas Chula Vista and El Cajon confronted automobile break-in charges that rose and fell annually.

San Diego police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi famous that 97 p.c of reported automobile burglaries have gone unsolved since 2014, and that the character of crime makes it troublesome for authorities to make arrests. He doubted that the present legislation affected San Diego automobile housebreaking charges.

“It’s not an actual loophole,” Takeuchi stated concerning the legislation. “If the individual is apprehended, we may nonetheless have a look at costs apart from housebreaking. It may nonetheless be a felony.”

Regardless of the invoice being shelved for a second yr, Wiener was optimistic. He additionally famous the extensive assist of invoice in the California Senate in addition to the media consideration the invoice has attracted.

“I believe the invoice will cross ultimately,” Wiener stated.