Bay area car break-ins prompt some auto owners to leave their trunks open

Some California residents in the Bay Area communities have started leaving the trunks open of their parked vehicles to discourage auto break-ins.

Photos reporting the trend were posted on social media and shared by a San Francisco-based news station. The posts showed two SUVs parked next to one another on an Oakland street. Even though the owners could not be seen in the immediate vicinity, the trunk doors of both cars were left open.

The person who shared the photo online also witnessed the owners leave their trunk doors open and leave the area; they added a caption to the picture that said, “Imagine having to clean out your car and leaving it open in public, just so people won’t break your windows.” 

Both Oakland and San Francisco residents have been seen leaving their cars with the trunks open over the past several days, which has disappointed local authorities who have been discouraging the strategy.

Former San Francisco Police Department Deputy Chief Garret Tom said he was “shocked” that people were leaving the trunks of their vehicles open. “There’s so much that can go wrong here,” he noted. He warned that thieves could gain access to the front of the car, which could give them the ability to locate identifying information about its owner. They could also take the car’s battery, tires, and other components.

The Oakland Deputy Chief added that residents should know that thieves may have the technology to locate items like laptops that are hidden in an unattended vehicle. She said, “Don’t leave valuables in the car, don’t even tuck things under your seat.”

More attention has been paid to local instances of crime in the last several weeks as there has been a rise in “smash-and-grab” retail robberies, which are also known as looting events.

California, specifically the Los Angeles and Bay Area, has been hit especially hard with those kinds of robberies, even though they’re taking place all over the U.S. Data from the San Francisco Police Department shows an increase in vehicle theft by about 32 percent in 2021, with a 25 percent increase between September and October of this year. 




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