CrimeBeat Q&A is a weekly feature where reporters answers readers’ questions about local crimes and the law.
My car window was smashed and my backpack was stolen, what are the chances of finding out who did it and getting my things back?
There’s not much chance the culprit will be caught and an even smaller chance you’ll get your things back. But you’re not alone: In Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, vehicle burglaries, aka smash-and-grabs, are on the rise.
Santa Rosa’s jump in car burglaries this year was exemplified in May, when 63 were reported. The average number per month is 40, said Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Marcus Sprague. Most include broken windows and forced entry and are concentrated downtown, he said.
Rohnert Park experienced a 40 percent increase in car break-ins during the first five months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, triggering a public awareness notice at the end of May by the Rohnert Park Public Safety Office, according to Cmdr. Aaron Johnson.
Over the past five years, suspects have been caught in just 3.3 percent of vehicle burglaries in Santa Rosa, according to data provided by the Santa Rosa Police Department.
The chances of catching a smash-and-grab culprit in unincorporated Sonoma County are somewhat better, because there are fewer vehicle burglaries. Only 68 were reported the entire year, and arrests were made in 17.6 percent of them, according to data provided by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
“Santa Rosa is just much more condensed and has lots of on-street parking that lends itself to vehicle burglaries,” said Sgt. Spencer Crum, spokesman for the Sheriff’s…
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