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San Francisco Battles Epidemic of Auto Burglaries

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The city of San Francisco is enduring an epidemic of auto burglaries.

Police took a record 26,500 reports of vehicle break-ins last year. That’s the most in the country on a per capita basis.

Police and prosecutors blame each other for the surge.

Police say a new state law helped written by the San Francisco district attorney that reduced felony crimes to misdemeanors is at fault. The district attorney’s office say the police haven’t made enough arrests, solving just 2 percent of the reported cases.

Regardless of blame, residents like Lauren Smith of Pacific Heights are frustrated. The side window of her Lexus has been broken twice in the last six months. She and other San Francisco residents and tourists say they want the burglaries curtailed and the culprits caught.