Car Break-ins Persist Near Golden Gate Park Archery Range

Thefts in July and August 2012 in San Francisco.

A small spree of auto break-ins continues near the Golden Gate Park Archery Range. The area has far fewer thefts than other parts of the city but they are still a concern. A Golden Gate JOAD archer’s car parked in plain view on 47th Avenue was broken into Saturday, September 2nd between 9 and 11 am. The passenger side window was broken and her purse stolen from the locked glove compartment.

47th Avenue in Golden Gate Park, the site of the most recent auto break-in in the area.

The auto break-ins on 47th in Golden Gate Park are an expansion of auto break-ins that have occurred in the golf course parking lot. The course has signs out warning customers of the break ins.

Smash and grab theft warning sign at the Golden Gate Park Golf Course Parking Lot.

Auto break-ins, or “theft from locked auto” as the crime reports dub them, are all too common in San Francisco, and are actually much more common elsewhere in the city than they are near the Golden Gate Park Archery Range, as is vividly shown in the San Francisco Crime Spotting map show at the top of this post. However, individual thefts matter very much to those affected, no matter where the crime occurs. SFPD Richmond station Capt. Rich Corriea told the SF Examiner, “We’re not going to arrest our way out of this, we’re just not…What people have to do is stop leaving stuff in their car.” Which is great advice, but, unfortunately, not always easily possible.

The standard advice to not leave anything visible in your car is good, but it didn’t save our archer from having her car broken into. It is possible that the thief was in the bushes nearby and saw her lock something in her car. So, if you have valuables that you must keep in your car, it may be advisable to place them in you trunk prior to your arrival at the park, and to not open the trunk once you arrive. Also, the bushes at the side of the road may provide cover for thieves. Parking more towards Fulton street, where there is less cover may be preferable, though the crime map shows that cars are broken into in full view on streets all over the city.

The potential for theft isn’t limited to items left in cars. If you bring valuables out onto to the range for safe keeping rather than in your car, place them where you can keep an eye on them at all times, including when you are walking to the target to retrieve arrows. It is all too easy for a thief to casually walk off with items left behind you as you walk to the target. If you have anything valuable you absolutely must have out at the range, consider placing it near the target rather than behind you–but be sure you place the items someplace you aren’t likely to accidentally shoot. You may even wish to carry your bow with you to the target when you retrieve your arrows.

Even with these issues, which are issues throughout San Francisco, the Golden Gate Park Archery Range continues to be a wonderful resource and Golden Gate JOAD will continue to work on ways to improve people’s experience at the range. The archers at the range are a community and we want them all to be safe and to be well. So, please, do be careful with yourself and valuables, no matter where you are in San Francisco.