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Did you experience a smash and grab???

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Redlands, California
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Did you experience a smash and grab???

I travel all the time and the smash and grab has got to be rampant in SF. We went to dinner only to come back to our rental car broken into and things taken. We were parked on a well lite area too, Geary and 15th st.. When I went to exchange the car there was another person there with the same problem. I talked with the guys at the rental company and two of them had their car broken into as well. When I posted it on FB on Thursday, one of our friend's son celebrating his graduation had his car broken into on Monday. Wow, this is crazy. I'm sure Safelite, auto glass repair company, is loving it but as a traveler, I will think twice about going to SF.

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Redding, California
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1. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

Not to diminish your experience, which wasn't a pleasant one, but this should not dissuade anyone from visiting SF. A car is not needed in SF.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

Auto "smash & grab" is a very serious problem in San Francisco. It is easy, quick and there is no punishment if caught. Leaving something of value visible in the car does not determine if you will be a victim according to a police officer I spoke with about this. They will smash a window and pop the trunk. Sometimes the criminal will watch you put things in a trunk from across the street and wait until you walk away. I heard about a convertible top that was slashed open to get a pie on the backseat. Unsecured parking lots are a criminal's shopping mall. The best advice from the SFPD...Do not leave ANYTHING you care about in a car in San Francisco and your the worst case scenario will be a broken window. Sorry.

Bloomington, Indiana
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3. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

Ditto as to sympathy for the OP's negative experience and I'm not trying to minimize the headaches and loss of time & money associated with this sort of thing.

That said:

1. Anecdotal evidence does not a trend make. Not saying there hasn't been an uptick, but the simple fact that you have crossed paths with 4 other people to whom this has happened to (recently?) doesn't mean it has increased or is in anyway rampant. (More so since it clearly was a conversation topic at the rental place where you heard about 3 of the 4 other occurrences) Plus, there's the whole distribution thing (kind of like urban myths of more emergency room visits during full moons) over how long a period were all of these smash & grabs: minutes, hours, days, weeks, months?

On other destination forums I have seen all kinds of claims about how it's not safe, crime is up, etc, but you know what? At least once, I actually took the time to do a little research and posted hard data indicating that crime was *down* in the destination. Furthermore, it wasn't a small blip in a small area over a short time or just in some types of crimes. The statistics showed that there had be a fairly steady decline in pretty much the whole metro area for all crimes which accumulated to a significant drop over about a 5 year period.

Of course, this didn't do anything to convince a poster who was certain crime was rampant due to anecdotal evidence.

2. As already pointed out, whether this is a growing problem/rampant or not it is another reason to avoid having a car in SF if possible (even if you're the only one it happens to in weeks, it's still a pain in the butt to have to deal with it).

3. Do we have a confirmation that everyone to whom this happened to followed good big city smarts and had absolutely *nothing* showing in their car? While this sort of thing shouldn't happen to anyone, I have a lot less sympathy for someone this happens to when you discover they had kinds of valuable stuff lying about on the seats of their car.

Again, sorry it happened to you, but question the idea that this sort of thing should deter anyone from visiting SF (especially if they won't have a car). I live in a small town with generally very little crime, but you know what? We still have the occasional smash & grabs (and, I'll even add that they tend to be clustered).

That's my $.02,

hlo

San Jose, California
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4. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

There are things you can do to reduce your risk, but not eliminate it. And the smash and grab is a problem. Fortunately many visitors don't need a car, so that eliminated this potential problem for a lot of people. For those who do have a car, the only thing you can really do is just not leave anything in sight and not access the trunk after you park - then just hope that if thieves come along, they will find more interesting pickings with the other cars in the area and skip yours entirely.

San Francisco
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5. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

This also happens very often on the street where I live (nice neighborhood, busy street), given the amount of glass I walk past every day. So yes, it's common, and yes, it sucks. I hope you knew better than to leave anything visible in the car because that makes your car an easy target. Have to agree with the others that for the most part that it's best to ditch the car and not bother with parking issues and possible break ins.

LA
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6. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

I experienced it in a commerical parking lot near Union Square.

The parking lot assumed absolutely no responsibility and the police could barely even take a report. They clearly were not going to do anything other than give me a piece of paper to take to my insurance company.

sf
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7. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

This is a big city problem, and thieves always look for the rental car bar code stickers hoping something is left in the trunk. Don't leave anything visible in the car.

I had my car window broken a few years ago, in an nice neighborhood of the city while I was at work, for a dollar in change. It cost me $200,

Santa Clara...
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8. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

Do you meant Geary and 15th AVENUE? In the Richmond District?

I have family that lives all over the city. Replacing car glass windows in their cars is almost a price to pay to live in the city if you do not have a private garage. The cars that are broken into are not the most fancy cars with alarms. We are talking boring late 90's/2000's Toyotas. I almost think the perps don't smash the newer cars because they know the alarms will make a lot of noise. This has happened in the Richmond near where this happened, near Golden Gate Park, and out in Portola. Daytime and night time - but usually overnight parking.

What's the moral of this? They all still live in the city. So visitors should come with their eyes open, mitigate their risks by taking above precautions. I don't think telling a victim of crime they should have left the car out of the city is helpful however well meaning.

San Jose, California
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9. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

Parking garages always have a disclaimer that absolves them from responsibility and the police really can't do much. Given the scarcity of resources and the comparatively low value level of the thefts, they can't really justify spending the resources to track down the thieves. Even home burglaries often go uninvestigated.

Santa Clara...
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10. Re: Did you experience a smash and grab???

This is from last summer:

richmondsfblog.com/2013/…

ID tags on luggage work, even after a horrible theft. Thanks to this good samaritan

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