Clement Street car break-ins on the rise, even during daylight hours

There’s been some chatter this week among Clement Street merchants about car break-ins that appear the be on the rise. Burglars are even doing smash and grabs in the middle of the day.

One afternoon this week, a woman parked her Kia SUV at 2pm on Clement Street near 3rd Avenue and went to a meeting. She returned an hour later to find her back window shattered and a piece of luggage missing.

The previous week, a Mercedes SUV was broken into at Clement and Arguello sometime between 5pm and 7pm. A bag containing a laptop was stolen.

Kris McArdle, a State Farm agent with clients on Clement Street, reported three recent incidents.

“We have had two vehicles and one of the merchants I insure broken into just last week between 23rd and 24th street on clement. Both of the vehicles break ins were in the middle of the day around lunch time with plenty of people walking around,” McArdle told other merchants via email.

And finally on Monday night, an SUV had their window broken and a purse stolen on the corner and Clement and 4th Avenue.

Cynthia Huie, head of the Clement Street Merchants Association, contacted the Richmond District police station to ask them to increase patrols along Clement Street.

Break-ins often increase during the holidays as people shop and leave their loot visible in their cars. All thieves need to see is a bag on a seat to make a break-in worth their while.

When you’re parking, remember to keep ANY valuables with you or hidden out of sight in your vehicle.

UPDATE 12/21: Captain Alexa O’Brien of the Richmond station told the CSMA that they plan to increase patrols. “I am in the process of putting together a plainclothes police officer team who will only focus on the car break-in perpetrators pillaging our district. They should be out and about with in the next week…I have increased my foot and bicycle beat patrols throughout my district and have strategically placed them where most of our vehicle break-Ins occur, GG Park, Ocean Beach, Geary St Corridor, Clement Street, etc.”

Sarah B.


  1. Seems like lots of petty break-ins nearby recently. My house has been broken into twice in the last two months. I found stolen bikes left outside my house in the same time frame. My adjacent neighbor has been broken to in the same time frame. Several other people on our street have reported break-ins in the same time period. I hope people are reporting this to the police so we get some extra vigilance.

  2. Why wouldn’t there be more break-ins? We have practically incentivized it in our legal code.

  3. Who in this age leaves a laptop, or anything that looks even potentially of value, in a car in San Francisco, or any big city? Put your stuff in your trunk or take it with you. Got friends or family visiting from out of town? Tell them to do the same. I don’t condone break-ins, but folks should realize this ain’t Mayberry.

    Merchants could do their customers a favor by putting signage to this affect in their windows. In tourist areas I have seen what look like official signage with such statements posted in parking areas. Should we ask Sandra Fewer to work with SFMTA to look at the feasibility of putting in such signage? Could the Merchants association offer to kick in for the same?

    It feels as if a multi-pronged approach would be potentially more productive than only asking for more police presence.

  4. prop 47 needs to be repealed and replaced
    cops are not going to waste their time on misdemeanors

  5. District Attorney Gascon recently robocalled me to leave a LONG explanation about how not to be telephone-scammed. Far more people in San Francisco lose money repairing broken car windows than lose money in phone scams they never fall for. When is Gascon going to get the message? Our family has had NOTHING of value in our vehicles and yet had four break-ins in the past year. Appalling how little our government is concerned.

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