This Is Why You Should Never Ever Leave Stuff Inside Your Parked Car


Ever wonder what one of those guys who smash windows and grab stuff from inside parked cars looks like? Wonder no more, because Neighbor Bud got some crisp security-cam footage of a would-be thief evaluating a potential target on Bocana:

Saturday, March 7th, at 5:40AM, a person with a backpack and a burglar tool came walking down Bocana Street, checking out cars to break into.  Our camera caught him checking out our car in front of our home.  He came from the direction of Powhattan and was headed downhill toward Eugenia.

Here’s the infuriating security camera vid:

43 thoughts on “This Is Why You Should Never Ever Leave Stuff Inside Your Parked Car

  1. On Tompkins and Andover their is a black dodge durango with 4 people living there and they always seem creepy and up to no good ive seen them parked on gates and on ogden and folsom not sure if anyone knows who they are and are they harmless ..

    • Can you please clarify what you mean by “up to no good”? If they are doing illegal things, you should report then to the police.

    • I guess they have moved down from Tompkins and Moultrie yesterday. They have been living in the car with 3 little dogs for the past 2-3 days. We called Animal Control last Sunday and they were aware of it. They were supposed to call the officers. Yesterday we saw a parking violation on the windshield; I thought they have left but seems like they just moved down one block.

      • I just saw them parked on ogden and gates I’ve called animal control over 10x the woman hits the dog and doesn’t feed them i feel so bad for the poor dogs

      • @bernalhippie Would love to help, but please be specific: did you see the woman hitting the dog? How do you know this same woman does not feed the dogs? Finally, can you share the name of the Animal Control staff to whom you’ve reported this?

    • I’m pretty sure this is the same Durango that was parked on Coleridge last week – with all the crap falling out of the truck, I’m pretty sure someone was living out of it. Didn’t see the woman but there was a guy who had at least two smallish dogs in there that would NOT stop barking. After a few hours, we called the cops who did come out to check on it but the guy wasn’t in there at the time so nothing came of it from what I could tell. He was gone the next day.

  2. I thought anything suspicious we are suppose to report it to Ingleside Station. Or at the very least, send the Captain an email. Yes?

    • i have called the police and made numerous reports about people stealing my plants breaking my car window i have shown them the video and they tell me to call them when its happening! Really i have to stay awake all night waiting for a criminal to break into my car and call police so they can take me serious … police are a joke …

  3. Last Saturday afternoon, a few hours after this video was captured, I found a “slim jim” car door unlocking tool resembling the one carried by the prowler in the video. It was in the grass on that narrow hairpin corner at the intersection Elsie and Virginia – just two blocks from the video location. Perhaps it was his.

  4. GARAGE? Many homes have garages, but people don’t use them for their cars; they use them to hoard things they don’t need. If people truly want their cars to be safe from break-ins perhaps they should take their cars off the public street and store them in their own garages or some other protected space they can rent.

    I often remind people that the city ALLOWS people to park their cars on the street, but it’s not a right. Some cities such as Century City and San Marino do not allow ANY street parking. Just remember that parking your car on a city street is really the equivalent of stick your refrigerator on a city street. If it’s yours and you value it and its contents, put it somewhere safer off the street!

    As for me, I have a 25 year old car and I don’t keep anything of value in it. Should someone break into it or even steal it, I’m not out much money, just a little inconvenience as I try to replace it. Believe me, if I had an expensive car (that is something worth more than $3000) you’d bet I’d put it indoors in a garage somewhere or behind a locked chain link fence.

  5. What Bernal needs is some nighttime citizen patrols.

    Get 5-10 concerned citizens, give them walkie-talkies and night sticks, and have them discreetly patrol streets with lots of foot traffic or that are dimly lit.

  6. What time was this person casing Bocana?

    Another idea. Citizens should drive around the neighborhood after midnight or so, and look for suspicious pedestrians.

  7. Oops, I see the video was recorded at 5:40.

    Again, 5- 10 people getting out of bed in the wee hours and into their cars to cruise the neighborhood, looking for suspicious pedestrians/activities.

  8. I was going to be a nice neighbor and post the video of the woman hitting the dog and them smoking meth in their car but since byrdbodega wants 2be a jerk im just going to look the other way next time my security camera catches a thief or tweaker with someones stolen bikes or property

    • I doubt you even have such a video.

      If you do indeed have one, you’re the bigger jerk for not posting it. I am, in this case anyway, the lessor of two jerks, if you think mocking someone’s writing style makes one a jerk.

  9. To the video owner. Does your camera digitally zoom in on moving targets or did you do the zoom post production?
    Would love to know the model of the camera if it actually automatically zoomed.

  10. I also saw two guys scoping out the interior of cars (with a flashlight — so subtle!) on the Richland/Miguel bridge over San Jose last night. I broke my “leave the phone in the pocket” rule to call SFPD.

    • Bummer Anita!!! As I walked our dog this morning, there was a Silver Toyota truck with the passenger window smashed out and glass everywhere. Right on the Richland bridge, and under the street light.

      Thank you for being a concerned citizen and doing your part

  11. You can also call animal care and control and report the dog abuse. I am sure they are overwhelmed like all agencies. They will take a report over the phone. I did once buT forgot to request an incident number so I could follow up.

  12. Naturally I vote to euthanize. 😉

    This form of vermin will take anything and I mean anything out of a car. How they are able to sell old sunglasses I have no idea.

    Another approach is demand destruction: ban buying things off a fence and set up sting operations to hit those who do with grievously crippling fines.

    I don’t suggest going after these with nightsticks. Or guns lest you be the next George Zimmerman. I suggest calling the police (SFPD really couldn’t care less about auto boosting but nag them) and doing exactly like this, publicizing the miscreant so they look to less-equipped neighborhoods. Shoot’em with a camera.

    SFPD finally developed a “bait bike” program though I’m not sure if they have gone so far as shutting down the chop shops that dot the city in plain view. Why the city would go after bike theft and ignore auto boosting is emblematic of SF politics…auto boosting is seen as progressive and green.

  13. My bestfriend lives on ogden st her mom has the daycare on the corner, we have installed over 18 security cameras and outdoor lighting, i remember a few month’s ago she saw a creepy man stealing from a car she called police and they arrived 3 hours later she gave them a copy of the video and they did absolutely nothing.
    On another occasion someone was trying to jump over her fence and she called police and they arrived within min but the thief was gone again she gave the police a copy of the whole incident they never called her. Both times the thief was a African American man. I just hope that more and more neighbors install security cameras and outdoor lighting.
    Also the people living in the black truck are her neighbors and yea they have a drug problem but they are also good people my friends mom has them clean her garden and clean the street she recently helped they sign up for homeless outreach and general assistance and mental help she hopes that helps them.
    The new Bernal people are honestly Rude, snobby, jerks, DICKS.. if you say hello and smiled once in a while instead of giving people the side eye it would be a much happier neighborhood. ..


    • 18 cameras? Even my most paranoid customer, a preschool, doesn’t even have that many cameras. There comes a time when a person would probably be better off not worrying about burglaries and step back and consider how beautiful SF is and how much fun it is to walk down the street and admire the plants and the the scenery and the people.

      If someone were to break into my home they’d get used computer equipment with little resale value, photos nobody wants, clothing that’s too big for them to fit, and CDs nobody listens to. If they stole my care, I’d just spend another $3,000 and get a replacement. I figure that since I’ve had the car for 7 years already, the economics are in my favor on that car. (Island Auto Sales, Alameda.)

      Perhaps those paranoid people of Bernal may consider taking a religious retreat somewhere and get back into touch with themselves and their spiritual path, rather than worry about temporal things.

      Yeah, go ahead and rag on me. But as you do, consider that I’m actually right.

      • Yes 18 cameras and just because you have USED WORTHLESS CRAP doesn’t mean everyone does.. and its for safety of the children and neighbors because of the security cameras crime on that block is lower and none of her neighbors vehicle’s get broken into. And just because you drive a OLD SHITTY and dont care if its broken into or stolen doesn’t mean everyone feels the same way my friends mom / godmother drives a very expensive car and they own several trucks for their other business and PEOPLE LIKE YOU RUINOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. . When one of your 8 vehicle’s is worth over $ 80,000 $ you would also install cameras …

      • this post from bernalhippie is pretty funny. 8 cars, one worth $80,000, and all of them parked on the street. LOL

  14. wow.
    I’m totally losing the Cranky War here, I need to up my game:
    Chillax, ladies.
    That’s right, I’m talking to you, Byrd, you old Republican nutbag. Everything you have ever said here is stupid, boring, ill-informed, patronizing and/or rude.
    And David, you blog blatherer.
    And BernalHippie, our newest, misbehaving, not-very-hippy-like curmudgeon.

    I’d really rather hear from some interesting vehicle thieves than the likes of you sanctimonious bores.
    As a general rule of thumb, one comment per blog post should suffice.

    • Not deleting this comment, but waving a yellow flag on it. Topic-focused argument is welcome; personal attacks/critiques are not. Cranky is ok, insulting not so much. Carry on.

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