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The San Francisco district attorney is proposing creating a $1.5 million fund to help car break-in victims pay for smashed windows in their vehicles.
If the proposal passes, the fund could be the first of its kind in the US.
The city is in the midst of a car break-in epidemic, with 25,667 reports made in 2019.
San Francisco's district attorney is proposing creating an auto-burglary-assistance fund that would reimburse residents for the cost required to repair shattered windows from break-ins.
The DA, Chesa Boudin, is proposing using $1.5 million from the mayor's office to fill the fund. If it passes, it could be the country's first fund of this kind.
"Auto burglaries are the No. 1 way people in San Francisco are directly impacted by crime," Boudin said in the San Francisco Chronicle. "While we know there's more work to do, this is something we can do today to step up and support victims."
The city has been experiencing an epidemic of car break-ins in recent years. In 2019, 25,677 people reported car break-ins, according to data from the San Francisco Police Department. The police department only makes arrests in about 1% of cases.
Unsuspecting tourists often are victims of such crimes, leaving valuables inside cars and parking on the street, as the Chronicle notes. But the DA's office estimated that nearly 9,000 residents were hit with smashed windows in 2019. This new fund would only be a resource for residents, not tourists or rental car companies, as ABC 7 News reports.
The Chronicle recently published a Car Break-In Tracker that tracks the number of monthly car break-ins across the city.
While walking alongside cars parked on the street, it's common to see handmade signs attached to the inside of the windows pleading with smash-and-grabbers not to break in. Some note the number of times they've been broken into, others disclose that there is nothing valuable in the car worth breaking the window for. Shattered glass strewn across sidewalks and along curbs is also common.
If this proposal passes, it could go into effect by June.
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