California State Senator Tries Changing Car Break-In Law Yet Again

Estimated read time 2 min read

For the third time since 2018, California State Senator Scott Wiener is introducing a bill which would potentially result in more thieves behind bars. Supporters say it would lower what’s a ridiculously high bar requiring vehicle owners to prove their car was locked when someone breaks into it to steal items inside.

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If the current law sounds unreasonable, keep in mind this practice is happening in California of all places, so it somewhat makes a little sense. It would also explain why criminals are so brazen about stealing out of cars in cities like San Francisco. You’ve probably seen on social media the signs some residents hang on their car saying it’s unlocked and there’s nothing of value inside, so please don’t break the window to get in.

According to local station KTVU, Wiener’s bill would drop the requirement of proving a car was locked. Apparently, if you leave it unlocked that makes it okay for someone to get inside and steal your stuff, or something. The fact that’s even the law in California is just so interesting.

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The way things are now, the car owner or whoever was using the vehicle at the time of a break-in has to testify before a judge and possibly jury that they did indeed lock the doors. Then the defense gets to cross examine and try making them second-guess their memory and other fun games attorneys like to play. As a result, a burglar could be let go, allowing them to keep stealing from cars and maybe even graduate to stealing whole cars.

Senator Wiener’s new bill will be introduced sometime in January when the California legislature reconvenes for the new year. Hopefully, if the bill is what’s it’s being presented as, this time it’s able to get out of committee and to the floor, especially with how fed up so many Californians are with vehicle break-ins.

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Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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