SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Several cities in the Bay Area are seeing shocking increases in car break-ins.

“All they’re going to do is see a shopping bag, it might even be empty, but they’re going to smash that window and grab it,” said San Jose Police Sgt. Chris Camarillo.

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San Jose has seen a 14 percent increase in car burglaries between 2015 and 2019. Fremont is up 27 percent. Newark is projecting an increase of 93 percent and Santa Clara a 125 percent increase.

“I’ve had my car broken into four times,” said Carrissa Chavez of San Jose. “Everytime my backpack has been stolen.”

But now, police will have some extra money to combat the crime. San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Fremont and Newark are each getting $750,000 through a special $3.75 million state grant from the office of Assemblymember Khansen Chu specifically to combat car break-ins.

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San Jose will increase officer patrols of shopping mall parking lots and look to investigate more cases.

“It’s nice to be able to bring people in with grant money on their days off, or on overtime.  It’s less of a strain on the department and the city’s resources,” Camarillo said.

Part of the money will also be used by the crime prevention unit for public education projects.

Police urge people not to leave valuables like phones, purses and packages in their cars where they can be seen, and report any suspicious activity to police.

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