Supes move to curb rental car break-ins


Car break-ins have unfortunately become the norm and on the rise in San Francisco, which have plagued residents and tourists visiting The City.

Two pieces of legislation to tackle rental car break-ins were approved on Tuesday by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The first legislation, sponsored by board President London Breed, requires car companies to provide disclosures to customers to remind them to not leave valuables inside the vehicle and to lock the doors. Breed said:

“When people come to San Francisco and they rent a car, we don’t want them to go away with these terrible experiences.

Breed noted that preliminary car break-in figures near Alamo Square, another popular tourist destination, have decreased since new signage was posted warning people to not leave valuables in the car and to lock the doors.

The second piece of legislation approved by the board also involved rental car companies. Supervisor Norman Yee’s proposal called for rental car companies to restrict visible barcodes and advertising on rental cars.

Yee said:

“Our city is plagued with a growing car break-in epidemic and our tourism industry has been immune to this.”

Yee called the car break-ins an “utter embarrassment” for The City:

“With 25 million visitors coming through last year, bringing nearly $9 billion dollars in spending dollars, we need show that we value them.”

Yee also reintroduced legislation that would have every police station in The City have a dedicated unit investigating car break-ins and property crimes. Mayor Ed Lee vetoed the legislation last year despite approval from the board.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen joined Yee as a sponsor of the proposed legislation after the San Francisco Police Department announced that a police officer’s gun was stolen from their vehicle, and the gun was used in a shooting that killed 23-year-old Abel Enrique Esquivel, Jr. in August:

“It’s even more ironic that even officers in San Francisco, and offerors that are storing very dangerous weapons, can’t even prevent their cars from being broken into.”

Ronen added:

“Enough is enough.”

This week, a deputy was fired from the San Francisco Sherriff’s Department who had their gun stolen from their vehicle.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay and covers transportation and City Hall. He has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Jerold is a San Francisco native and frequently takes public transit everywhere he goes. Follow Jerold on Twitter @jerold_chinn. Email tips to

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