San Francisco Car Smash and Grab – A New Solution for Apple Devices

In San Francisco, the number of car break-ins has been steadily growing, with almost 30,000 in 2018. Of those 30,000 break-ins, SFPD made arrests in just 1.7% of the cases. Of those 1.7%, most were never sentenced to jail time.

Why the increase in smash and grab?

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office reports that car break-ins soared, when security was improved for cell phones, particularly Apple devices. Stolen cell phones became less valuable. Criminals shifted their attention to laptops and other items, kept in plain sight in vehicles, causing the growth in smash and grab crimes.

The SF Chronicle is compiling a contemporaneous SF Car Break – In Tracker, identifying the locations of smash and grab crimes in San Francisco. Here is a chart, showing the break-ins during the last 30 days, until May 23, 2019.

San Francisco Car Break In Cases
San Francisco Reported Auto Break – Ins from April 23, 2019 to May 23, 2019

Apple Macbooks are especially targeted, given their strong resale value on the black market in the SF Bay Area. And Macs are not able to be locked, in the same way that iPhones are. They can be reset and re-sold… until now.

A New Solution – Macbook Security

Apple has announced that the new IOS 13 and macOS Catalina will allow Users to locate their Apple devices, including Macbooks, even when the device is off line. Apple said that when a device is offline and sleeping, it sends out a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by other Apple devices nearby, even the ones owned by other people. This makes it much more difficult for thieves to keep Apple devices off-line and out of communication with the owner of the device. This is a game changer for Macbook Air and Pro devices, especially. The new operating systems are scheduled to be released later this Summer.

What to do if you are a victim of smash and grab in the SF Bay Area

If you have been a victim of a smash and grab theft in San Francisco, follow these steps… 1. Report it to the local PD. 2. Follow up to ensure the serial numbers of any stolen devices have been added to APS, so they can be identified as stolen and returned to you if recovered. If you need on the ground assistance to locate and document camera footage, witnesses and to check into possible fences or other purchasers, please contact Filley and Associates.