The second of three priorities I discussed with Chief Wollman and Capt. Matteucci was property crimes. I've been wondering if auto and residential burglaries are really up or are we just more connected via social media (what one Voice wag calls Nosy Neighbor Network), the on-line crime map and newspaper reporting? BPD's perspective is that auto burglaries are up somewhat on the Bayfront (i.e. at hotels and restaurants), and commercial areas are seeing some uptick, but residential area crime is basically flat verses historical trends.
Common sense and education of our tourists would help on the Bayfront. It still surprises everyone involved that people would leave computer bags or other valuable in plain sight in locked cars. BPD uses "bait cars" with some success and the "decoy" car that can be seen on the Avenew is a modest effort to deter retail theft (where there have been some notable losses lately). A portable, pole-mounted camera is also in the works for hot spots in the Bayfront parking lots. We also discussed the rumor around town that BPD does not fingerprint cars that have been broken into. They do fingerprint unless there are circumstances that would render it pointless (like rain).
In residential areas, one of my hot buttons has been door-to-door solicitors. There is agreement that this is often the first step to a residential break-in. Knock once, knock twice, go around back if no one answers. I know several B'gamers who have experienced this and get told "Oh, I thought I saw a friend of mine". Yeah, right. Commerical solicitors need a permit and there are only two in place right now, but charitable solicitations do not. BPD welcomes a quick call to the non-emergency number alerting them that solicitors are in the area (use (650) 777-4100). Bottom-line: Use your trunk, take out valuables and alerting phone calls are welcome. Here is the decoy on the Avenew.