Stop Crime SF was instrumental in the passage of two public safety ordinances at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the fall of 2017. The first requires rental car agencies to warn their customers to avoid leaving luggage and other valuables in their parked cars because of car burglaries. The second requires the elimination of advertising and prominently visible barcodes on rental cars so they won’t be obvious targets to burglars.
Why are we so interested in protecting rental cars?
Because thieves are particularly attracted to rentals – since they know tourists often leave cameras and other valuables in their cars. And burglars know out-of-town victims likely won’t return to San Francisco to testify in court if they get caught. We care about rental cars because burglars won’t stop there. If they are drawn to a neighborhood street where tourists park, the cars and homes of local residents are also at risk.
Will this solve the car break-in crisis in San Francisco?
Obviously, rental car legislation is not enough, when car burglaries in San Francisco are the highest in the nation. But addressing rental cars is a good start, considering that a westside police station commander (Park Station) recently said that 97 percent of the crimes in his district were car break-ins — and 67 percent of those were to rental cars. It’s only a start when a lasting solution will require more action.
We’re making a national impact
The ordinance to eliminate bar codes on rental cars was originally opposed by the rental car companies and their allies. But their lobbyists eventually came to realize a compromise was preferable. The final ordinance required removal of all but one small barcode, and gave companies six months to implement it in all short-term car rentals in San Francisco and the airport. Enterprise said they would make some of these changes to their fleet nationwide!
Stop Crime SF suggested the legislation to Supervisor Norman Yee, who worked with his colleagues to win support. Supervisor London Breed was a co-sponsor on the first ordinance. Supervisor Yee praised Stop Crime SF for the crucial role we played in advancing the legislation and we want to thank him for his leadership. We also want to thank the volunteers and board members of Stop Crime SF who spoke in favor of the legislation at City Hall and shared their heartfelt stories. The remarks by Lydia, Jim, Brigitte, Helene and Frank made a difference. We also want to thank and acknowledge George Wooding, president of the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, for his public testimony and the support of his organization.
In the news
Here’s some of the press about our legislation:
San Francisco Examiner
ABC News Channel 7