How to Prevent & Respond to Auto Break-Ins

Whether you live in San Francisco or are visiting, staying savvy about preventing auto break-ins and knowing how best to respond if it happens to you is a must. SF SAFE’s friends at the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management have shared some helpful pointers so community members have the latest 411, no matter what the situation. Here’s the scoop.

Prevention: If you have any valuables or seemingly insignificant loose items visible in your car, the department recommends placing all loose items in the trunk before

arriving at your destination to make sure thieves won't know what you are hiding. For out-of-towners, consider keeping your luggage at the hotel rather than risk it by keeping it in your car.

Broken Window or Trunk: If the break-in is happening right now, call 911 and be prepared with your location and suspect description, per the department. If the break-in

already happened, file a police report online or call 311.

Car Break-In:  If a car break-in happens to you, think about what was stolen and make a list items, suggests the department. Other helpful info—although not mandatory—is to include the estimated value (and serial numbers, if possible) for any electronics on a police report. These reports can be filed online or by calling 415-553-0123. If credit cards were stolen cancel them as soon as possible, and check to see if any unauthorized activity has occurred. If so, include this activity on the police report. If an original passport or social security card was stolen, go to the nearest police station.

Firearms Theft. If any type of firearm was stolen, the department says to go immediately to a police station, or call the police non-emergency line at 415-553-0123.

Reporting: If a police report is needed for an insurance claim, one can be completed online, in person at any police station, or by calling 311.