San Francisco is a beautiful city with a big problem — car theft. In 2021, nearly 2000 cars were stolen, and there were tens of thousands of car crimes in popular areas like North Beach and The Mission District. Thefts of catalytic converters have been rampant in the city and all over the bay area, as thieves collect the valuable metal parts to sell off for serious cash. Speculation is that this sort of theft has increased since the pandemic started, but regardless, it’s obvious that one must be super thoughtful when it comes to where to park and leave their car.
In December 2021, 219 cars were stolen, beating the previous year by 14 vehicles. Fifteen carjackings occurred, with incidents taking place at Bayview Hunters Point, The Mission, The Tenderloin, and South of Market.
Of the 865,000 cars across the country parked in secure lots with Way.com in 2021, just 42 thefts have occurred. That’s less than 1%. In November? There were zero incidents in the San Francisco bay area in any of our partnered lots. So when you have the option, choosing and paying for a secure location to keep your car is certainly worth the price compared to the thousands you could be out of pocket if your catalytic converter is stolen.
A few more parking tips to lessen your chances of becoming a statistic:
Choose a well-lit garage.
If you’re going to park your car at a garage overnight or leave it for any amount of time, make sure you find a well-lit garage. A well-lit garage deters criminals from trying to break into your car or vandalize it. Good lighting can also help make it easier to spot hazards around your car. Most onsite and offsite parking garages listed on the Way.com app provide round-the-clock surveillance and gated entries with security personnel.
Always lock your car.
Surprisingly, many drivers fail to actually lock their cars after they park. Locking your car is the easiest way to prevent theft no matter where you park – on the street or at a parking garage. Always ensure to roll your windows up and remember to take the keys with you as well.
Hide your valuables.
You can reduce the chances of a break-in by hiding your valuables from plain sight. Store them in the trunk of your car or a lockable glovebox inside the cabin. If you have larger articles that can only be stored in the cabin, we’d recommend covering them up with a dark cloth or a blanket. It is also advisable to lock the doors after you get in your car, as this could dissuade car thieves from trying to break in while you make a call or set up your navigation before you take off.
Staying alert and present when you are walking to your car, parking, or just when you are out and about in the city will serve you well.