San Francisco seeks to curb rental car break-ins

San Francisco wants rental car companies to remove any identifiers off rental cars such as company logos, rental company names, barcodes and decals, in hopes of preventing car break-ins.

The proposed legislation was introduced by Supervisor Norman Yee on Tuesday at the San Francisco Board Supervisors meeting, where Yee said residents in his district wanted to see rental car companies to do more than just warn customers about leaving valuables behind, but to make the vehicles less enticing for criminals who may target rental cars:

“When criminals target these rental cars in certain neighborhoods where tourism is high, they also target the cars around these rental cars.”

Yee said tourists who are victims of auto break-ins, are left with bad memories of The City:

“It’s shame that so many of our tourists and visitors have left San Francisco with tainted memories and shattered glass, lost valuables and feeling helpless.”

According to the 2015 year-end crime statistics from the San Francisco Police Department, theft from vehicles jumped from 19,827 incidents in 2014 to 25,899 incidents in 2015.

A 2016 San Francisco Civil Grand Jury report said that in thieves walked away with $19 million of stolen items from vehicles in 2015.

Yee acknowledged the work being done by SFPD and the district attorney for cracking down on auto break-ins, but said more can be done:

“We also need to deploy other strategies and look to our partners in the tourism industry for support.”

Yee said the proposed legislation is not only looking out for tourists, but also for residents who may become victims as well:

“This is something that we’re trying to protect only the tourists, but also our residents in San Francisco.”