East Bay Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, along with a Southern California Republican, introduced a bill last week that would change the definition of an auto burglary and increase jail time for its offenders.

“Every smashed window and every piece of stolen property is both costly and a personal violation of our residents,” Bauer-Kahan said in a statement.

“For far too long criminals have been abusing a loophole in current law that requires prosecutors to prove that a car was not unlocked at the time of a break-in. This bill would close that loophole and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable.”

The bill was introduced on Jan. 13 as a number of Bay Area communities are facing growing concerns over a spike in auto and home burglaries.

Bauer-Kahan, a first-term Democratic assemblymember who represents the Tri-Valley and Contra Costa County’s 16th District, is the principal author of Assembly Bill 1921, along with Republican Assemblymember Tyler Diep of Westminster.

San Francisco state Sen. Scott Wiener is a principal co-author of the bill. In addition, Hayward Assemblymember Bill Quirk is a co-author.

The legislation also proposes to increase jail time for those convicted of misdemeanor and felony auto burglaries of up to one year in county jail.