By Drew Bollea

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A swift swing is all it takes for a criminal to get inside your car and take your things. Under current California state law, some crooks are getting away with the crime.

“These are organized criminal syndicates that go around and break into an enormous number of cars,” said State Sen. Scott Weiner of San Francisco, “they are getting more and more savvy, and we need to shut them down.”

Weiner says vehicle theft in the Bay Area has reached epidemic proportions. Prosecutors are struggling to convict people charged with a car burglary.

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“We need to make sure the actual law is rational, and right now it’s not,” said Weiner.

Prosecutors have to prove that a car was locked in order to charge someone with breaking in.

Under current law, a broken window isn’t enough to prove that the car was locked before the break-in.

“Common sense would tell you that if you have broken glass, obviously someone broke into the vehicle,” said George Gascon, the San Francisco District Attorney.

In the Bay Area, only a fraction of the cases that make it to court end in a conviction. It’s why Gascon is in favor of adding “forced entry” to the wording of the law.

“It’s simply a tool that would give us the ability to do work in cases that we haven’t been able to.”

Senate Bill 916 is a proposal to tighten up burglary and break in laws that could create a tougher case against criminals.


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