San Francisco-owned public parking garages are seeing fewer car break-ins thanks to improvements being made inside the garages, city officials said on Tuesday.
The Sutter-Stockton Street garage, near Union Square, saw fewer car break-ins in recent months, with 44 in January, 12 in February, and 9 in March, Mayor Mark Farrell said at a press conference Tuesday.
City officials began seeing the drop in car break-ins at the garage after a police officer was assigned to the garage and a number of improvements were made in February, including installing fencing and making sure electrical outlets were no longer available to avoid people from loitering inside the garage.
Farrell said the car break-in epidemic in The City affects visitors and people who work and live in San Francisco:
“The current conditions on our streets is unacceptable.”
The San Francisco Municipal is current undergoing a $32.5 million three-year project to make security and operational improvements to all of the 22 city-owned public parking garages.
Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation, said the upgrades are a mix of old and new technology:
“It’s fencing, it’s lighting, it’s signage.”
Additionally, the transit agency installed 56 high-definition cameras at six other parking garages to help deter criminals and help the Police Department capture those seen on video breaking into a vehicle.
The transit agency expects to complete all the garage upgrades by 2020.
The Pierce Street garage in Cow Hollow, one of the garages that received the new cameras, saw a 55 percent decline in car break-ins within six months of implementation, according to The Mayor’s Office.
District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani is thankful for the new improvements, as she said she has witnessed people staking out cars:
“Once they saw me, they exited in their Mercedes laughing at me while I was on the phone with police.”
Stefani along with Supervisor Kim called for a hearing on public safety at city-owned public parking garages and lots last month.