Police Arrest Alleged Serial Auto Burglar Near Fisherman's Wharf

On March 25th, plainclothes officers from SFPD's Central Station arrested a man suspected of multiple auto burglaries during a burglary abatement operation near Fisherman's Wharf. 

At approximately 2pm, officers began to follow a vehicle near North Point and Taylor Streets that matched a description of a car reported to have been involved in several smash-and-grab auto burglaries.

As the team followed the vehicle, a man wearing a red hoodie exited the passenger side and began casing seemingly random cars.

Soon, the man returned to his vehicle and headed to Bay Street at Taylor and continued to peer through the windows of parked cars. Officers then witnessed the suspect exit the vehicle again, smash a car window and remove a bag.

After getting back into the vehicle with the stolen goods, the suspect pulled up to a second parked car, broke in and snatched another backpack. 

At that point, police moved in and apprehended the suspect, later identified as 18-year-old San Francisco resident Brian Vandercourt. The getaway driver sped away and evaded arrest.

Suspect Brian Vandercourt. | Photo: SFPD

During the investigation, officers learned that Vandercourt may have been involved in several car break-ins in the Richmond District and elsewhere throughout the city, according to police.

Vandercourt was booked into San Francisco County Jail on five counts of second degree burglary, two counts of possession of stolen property, one count of possession of burglary tools, one count of conspiracy and one count of resisting arrest. 

The arrest comes at a time when the city has seen an uptick in auto-related burglaries. A report from the Examiner revealed that they were up by 28 percent last year, spiking to 17,970 citywide, compared to 13,995 incidents reported during the same period in 2016.

Last year, Police Chief William Scott introduced new officer deployment strategies to help curb instances of auto burglaries and other property crimes by deploying beat patrol officers to areas deemed problematic, especially in tourist-heavy neighborhoods like Fisherman's Wharf.

Although police have made an arrest, anyone who believes they have information about this suspect is encouraged to contact the SFPD Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 with "SFPD" at the beginning of the message. You may remain anonymous.

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