Bernal Neighbor Has Video of His Own Car Being Stolen


Neighbor John’s car was stolen last week, and he has security camera footage that shows how the thieves did the deed:

My neighbor recorded some nice video of my old Honda Civic being stolen the other night at the corner of Bonview and Coso/Stoneman.

This may just serve as a warning to people in the neighborhood. You can see the thieves checking very carefully for hidden keys in the wheel-wells. Doing that is a great way to give thieves easy entry. I didn’t do that, but it does seem that these guys knew some kind of trick to get around my anti-theft setup.

My car’s license plate is 3TQT217 on the off-chance someone might see it. I suspect they might have wanted it for parts. The body is pretty beaten up.

Here’s the video:

22 thoughts on “Bernal Neighbor Has Video of His Own Car Being Stolen

  1. my Honda got stolen in front of my house (Wool Street) in January. With the club on and locked, they still managed to take it. Late 90’s Hondas don’t even need keys to start them. The locks get so warn down thieves can literally stick anything in the ignition and start the car. Mine was found on the side of the road near Hayward. Apparently late 90’s Hondas are also the joy ride vehicle of choice. Oy. Good luck.

  2. Neighbor John, sorry about the inconvenience and loss of your car.
    I’m betting they stole it because they wanted to go somewhere, and they didn’t want to take the bus. Police say most stolen cars show up somewhere, maybe even in your own neighborhood. After all, they came from somewhere nearby. and they’re usually not going far.
    Good luck. And everyone else, please remember not to leave garage door openers in your cars.

  3. Neighbor John,
    My 2002 Honda Accord was parked on the same street this weekend. I had a Club on the driver’s wheel. Did you have anything in addition to the standard security?
    Neighbor Brian

  4. I’m wondering if a Club is an invitation to a thief to steal the car. I’m thinking that if the owner thinks the car is important enough to put a Club on it then it might be worth taking. That’s my opinion based on never having owned a Club and never having had my car stolen or broken into.

    The only theft problem I’ve ever had was when someone stole the battery from my van. In those days most cars simply had an unlocked hood latch. So, I got some chain and a padlock, installed them, and never had any other problems.

    • “Eh, I’ll just pass on this beat-up old LeBaron and its mismatched passenger side door … wait, a Club? Well, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.”

  5. As a friendly advice DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL Information and GARAGE DOOR OPENERS in your car the least u have the better the club helps when properly installed also they have a club for your emergency break these people probably came from excelsior or lower mission san bruno ave and near mclaren park area if you can get a clear picture of the logo on the hoodie that would help THIEVES always wear the same clothes good luck hope you find your car … GOOD THING THE NEIGHBOR HAD SECURITY CAMERAS EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE THEM IT WOULD MINIMIZE THEFT SWANN AND LORAX ARE GREAT GROUPON HAS THEM CHEAPER

  6. Check the SFMTA site for new parking tickets on your car.

    Thieves have been stealing 90s Hondas as transportation and then abandoning them. Eventually the abandoned car will start collecting parking tickets. If you can find where these tickets are issued via the website you maybe able to locate your car before it is impounded and avoid the $200-$300 charge (yes, they will charge you to get your stolen car back).

    I think it’s highly likely your car will be located (in one piece) in a few days.

  7. SFPD recovers something like 90 or 95% of stolen cars. You mentioned anti theft setup. Did you have a cutoff switch? They know about those and know to find them or bypass them. Two things you can do when you get it back. Buy a “CLUB” a real one, not a knock off. Use it religiously. Have your ignition lock cylinder replaced. A new lock will not turn with a shaved key. Usually when they see the club they will just keep walking until they get to the next car. NOTHING can prevent it from being stolen if the theif is determined. But you want to make it a bit more difficult. Good luck and I hope you get the car back.

    • ALSO, more than anything else, MOVE YOUR CAR DAILY. Burglars watch for cars that stay in the same spot, figuring that the person is out of town on vacation. When the owner is out of town there is less likelihood that anybody would notice the burglary until it’s too late.

  8. Not bad for a dropcam at night. I suppose this was mounted outside otherwise the IR would bounce off the window?
    We do have a video of the thieves like we have seen in other videos here on bernalwood but we can’t make out details well enough to show the police or ask others if we know them.
    It’s for this reason that I really don’t recommend dropcams. The resolution is just not good enough to be a real crime fighting security device.
    Even if they drove another car to the scene of the crime we probably couldn’t read their plates.
    Sure dropcam is dead simple to setup but something to think about if you are serious about setting up a recording device.

    • This dropcam was mounted indoors behind a window. It does seem to do pretty well at night, so the window glass has not been a problem with night-vision, but it may be reducing resolution overall. I am moving the Dropcam outdoors in a special case that I found that has “night vision”-friendly glass. We’ll see how much better that will be, both for day-time and night-time resolution.

      Agree, I can’t seem to make out license plates with the dropcam unless it is broad daylight and within 30 feet. I’ve tried other off the shelf wifi HD cameras too (Samsung, Netgear, etc,) and they’re no better.

      Maybe we can all pitch-in and get higher-quality surveillance cameras that are hard-wired to a DVR, and put them strategically at key intersections?

      • I install hardwired cameras among my tech support functions. I’ve done a couple schools, a cafe, an antique store. I recommend against Dropcam because they’re expensive for what you’re getting, and if you need significant coverage you have to buy several. Also, they charge to store you video!

        The systems available from companies like Swann are very good. (I deal exclusively with Swann after having tried several others), especially with their night vision cameras. The DVR can be accessed via computer, tablet, or smartphone, too.

  9. Don’t use a club unless you want to get your car back with the steering wheel cut. It’s the easiest security measure in the world to bypass.

    And you will find your car again. This is most definitely a joy ride. Just hope you find it sooner than later.

    • Not true about the club, it is a deterrent. True, the steering wheel can be cut, but the thieves taking the mid 90’s Hondas are not as slick as the ones breaking into and stealing brand new cars.
      A homeless encampment behind the stores on Bayshore was swept on Tuesday, May 12 by the police and DPW. There were about 50 people back there; this is why we have so many break in as of late. Earlier that same day, a home on Nevada St. Was burglarized when the front door was kicked in. There is drop cam footage. The time was between 10 and 11 am. The thief was seen in that encampment.

  10. My 98 Honda Civic was stolen twice and broken into multiple times near or around Precita Park. I got rid of it and now have a 2006 Scion xB. IT has an alarm and a club and so far no break ins. However, someone did key it all around the body one night.

  11. Separate issue, but I thought I’d read it into the Bernal record: those thugs who punched out that guy on Coleridge a while back may be active again. I have no proof and so I didn’t call the cops but I’ll post it here as a heads-up (if anyone reads this far back).

    I was walking up from Precita Park all the way up Franconia steps. I was being tailed by someone for a while there but they left. By the time I got all the way up to Franconia a brand new white metallic Highlander SUV with only a torn dealer tag (no license plate), driven by a young black male wearing a baseball cap pulled along slowly past me and somewhat awkwardly parked up where I was walking toward. He didn’t get out. I turned around and took a huge detour up & down a bunch of steps and backstreets and got home safely. I suspect there were more thugs lying down in that car who would’ve gotten out and jumped me as I walked past.

    Now you can go ahead and insist I’m racist or paranoid or both but the statistics and circumstances and precedents as posted earlier here all align. I don’t want to be terrorized into avoiding walking to the store. These thugs need to get caught & removed. I can’t identify them as they removed the license plate and put a torn green dealer tag in its place. In the meantime, please stay alert and don’t be so idealistic as to jeopardize your own safety. Good luck.

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