Car owners in the San Francisco Bay Area started leaving their car trunks open to show it’s empty, and have been going to great lengths to avoid vehicle break-ins.

Former San Francisco Police Department Deputy Chief Garret Tom was shocked, saying: “There’s so much that can go wrong here.”

Windows being rolled down and vehicles being left unlocked are things that we have heard car owners do already by now, but leaving trunks open is something that sounds very alarming, as car break-ins are on the rise in San Francisco and Oakland.

“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 witness wrote on social media.

Oakland’s Interim Deputy Police Chief Drennon Lindsey says that he is not surprised at all as these thieves are getting more advanced.
“Even if you think I’m just going to put my laptop in my trunk… if it’s on, they have the technology to detect it in the car. Even if it’s hidden,” said Lindsey.

While on the other side, Former SFPD Deputy Chief Garret Tom, who has nearly 40 years of service on the force, says that he’s never seen people resort to this to protect their windows. “We’re in different times… that’s unbelievable. They could steal your batteries, your tires,” he said. “They could go into your glove compartment and find out where you live,” said Tom.

In San Francisco, there is a 32 percent increase in car break-ins, and a 25 percent spike in auto burglaries so far this year compared to last year. While a similar situation in Oakland counts around a 27 percent increase in both car break-ins and auto burglaries.

One of the methods people could use to secure their vehicles are security cameras, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is calling on private property owners to consider purchasing them, which would also help in tracking down these criminal groups.

“We have got to do more to get us through this holiday season. Pointing the cameras towards the street and register it with the Oakland Police Department,” Schaaf said.

Patrols have been increased over the holiday season in both high-traffic areas by the department, but Police Chief Lindsey still warns for common sense: “Don’t leave valuables in the car, don’t even tuck things under your seat.”
And definitely, leave your trunk closed.

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