FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Leticia Garcia
January 14, 2020
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Tyler Diep (R-Huntington Beach), Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) announced they have introduced legislation to address the rising number of car break-ins throughout California. Assembly Bill 1921 will make it easier to prosecute auto-burglary by eliminating the need to prove that a vehicle’s doors were locked when the theft occurred.
“The car break-ins have become so common and lucrative that thieves are traveling from the Bay Area to Los Angeles to commit these crimes. AB 1921 is a common sense bill to reduce one of the most common types of property crimes in the state,” said Assemblyman Diep. “It is unacceptable that current law puts the burden of proof on the victim and allows burglars to escape the consequences of their actions. It is time to pass this bill and stop the break-ins.”
“Auto break-ins are at epidemic levels. These crimes harm neighborhoods and badly hurt people who can’t afford to keep fixing their car windows and who rely on their cars to survive. People who break into cars must be held accountable. We need to close this ridiculous loophole that allows people who break into cars to avoid consequences,” said Senator Scott Wiener, a co-author of AB 1921, who authored SB 23 and SB 916, which were previous versions of the bill introduced in the past two years.
Since 2013, there has been a steady increase of auto burglaries in California. There have been numerous reports, from all over the state, showcasing the problem of auto break-ins. A neighborhood in Fairfield was hit with 28 car break-ins in one night. In the Los Angeles area, perpetrators are targeting unsuspecting tourists in broad daylight. In San Francisco, people are putting signs in their cars claiming there isn’t anything of value inside.
AB 1921 will specify that “auto-burglary” is the forcible entry of a vehicle with intent to commit theft. Forcible entry of a vehicle will be defined as damaging the exterior of a vehicle or the use of a tool or device to manipulate the locks. The bill is co-authored by a bipartisan coalition of Senators and Assemblymembers from around the California.