San Francisco residents hire private security amid run of car break-ins

The city is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to arrests in organized auto burglary operations


By Suzie Ziegler 

SAN FRANCISCO — Some San Francisco residents are hiring private security to patrol their neighborhoods after they say property crime has gotten out of hand, CBS San Francisco reports. 

Resident Katie Lyons says she’s paying for security services from Patrol Special Officer Alan Byard. Patrol Special Officers work as private patrol personnel and are overseen by the San Francisco police commission, according to the report. 

Byard makes rounds in his car from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for $65 a month per home. He says business has more than doubled since the pandemic began. 

"It’s a nice area down here; people are afraid of what’s been going on,” Byard told CBS San Francisco. “They want a safe place to raise their kids. In the last year, I’ve had 10 of my clients move out of the city."

Videos on social media of car break-ins and petty theft have stoked fear in the community. 

Now, the city of San Francisco is offering a reward up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrests of those involved in organized auto burglary operations, according to an update from CBS San Francisco. The reward was funded by private donors in the hospitality and tourism industry. 

Police believe that fewer than a dozen regular auto burglary crews are responsible for most auto burglaries in San Francisco. Police Chief Bill Scott says that more patrols have been helping. 

"We’ve had some success breaking up some of these operations but there are a lot more people out there," Scott said in the report. 

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