San Francisco is grappling with an epidemic in car break-ins. (Courtesy photo)

San Francisco is grappling with an epidemic in car break-ins. (Courtesy photo)

Wiener to try again with auto burglary loophole legislation

A loophole that law enforcement officials say hinders prosecution of auto burglars would close under legislation being proposed by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco.

Wiener plans to reintroduce a law that would eliminate a requirement that prosecutors must show a car’s door was locked during an auto burglary, even if the window was bashed in.

The new legislation would make forcible entry sufficient to prove the crime.

“The explosion in auto break-ins we’re experiencing is unacceptable, and we need to ensure our police and district attorneys have all the tools they need to address it,” Wiener said.

Wiener introduced similar legislation earlier this year under Senate Bill 916, but it didn’t make it out of the state Senate appropriations committee.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon supports the legislation, saying the loophole has allowed some suspects to elude prosecution.

Under current law, prosecutors have a difficult time making a case if an offender broke a window and entered a car, leaving it unlocked or the door open. A case against a suspect could also falter if a victim returned and unlocked the car’s door before police took a report.

San Francisco police Chief William Scott said the legislation would provide “a very useful tool to help us reduce vehicle burglaries by making it easier to successfully prosecute these crimes.”

Vehicle break-ins are down 16 percent this year and police have made 31 percent more arrests compared to 2017, Scott said.

-Kathleen Kirkwood, Bay City NewsCrimePolitics

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read