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Friday, December 3, 2021

California leaders vow to crack down on high-profile burglaries

Over the course of several hours Friday night, at least 30 people robbed several of San Francisco’s most prestigious stores in what law enforcement officials said was one of the most blatant burglaries in recent memory, prosecutors said.

The next day, hours after officials promised to prosecute the thieves and prevent another major robbery, dozens of people rushed into a Nordstrom store in Walnut Creek, California, 25 miles east. Police said they grabbed clothes, jackets and bags and fled into a caravan of waiting cars.

Over the course of eight days this month, near Chicago’s Bay Area, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, there has been a series of rapid, high-profile robberies that have alarmed businesses, passers-by and some government and local officials who have pledged to crack down on criminals. crimes.

“We need to set an example from these people,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press conference on Monday. “They don’t just steal people’s food and affect their livelihoods. They steal a sense of place and confidence, and so you need to take it seriously. “

Whether any of the robberies were involved is unclear. CCTV footage and mobile phone footage that have been posted online showing people grabbing and running around with goods indicate that they are very different. Three people were involved in one theft in Northern California, and as many as 80 people were involved in the Walnut Creek robbery. according to police

Law enforcement officials said to the extent that burglaries were natural, each involved groups of at least three people, usually with escape vehicles waiting nearby, and did not appear to be afraid of being spotted. store cameras or bystanders.

Data on how often these types of crimes are committed is not available from the two leading trade groups in the retail industry, and local law enforcement agencies do not publicly disclose their data.

A San Francisco police department spokesman said as the investigation continues, he did not say what evidence, if any, was collected by the authorities to link the burglary on Friday night.

Stores hit San Francisco on Friday: Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Bloomingdale’s, Yves Saint Laurent, Walgreens, Fendi, Hermes, Armani and several cannabis pharmacies.

“Their plan was to crush us,” San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said at a press conference the next morning. “We will do whatever we need to do to end this madness.” On Monday, he told ABC7-TV that the burglaries were “somewhat organized.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city will increase its police presence and restrict vehicle access to the Union Square shopping area. Chief Scott said at least six men and two women were arrested in connection with several burglaries.

District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who faces a revocable election next year and whose critics have accused him of being overly lenient with crimes, said Wednesday that he has indicted felony charges against the people who were arrested. “These are not petty thefts,” he said at a press conference. “This is a felony.”

Hours after San Francisco’s leaders pledged a tough reaction on Saturday, a burglary took place in the Nordstrom area of ​​Walnut Creek. There, shortly before 9:00 pm, about 80 people broke into a store, grabbed clothes, jackets and bags and disappeared into more than two dozen cars waiting outside, police said.

Third Party Video posted on Twitter shows people in hooded sweatshirts and masks running down the street carrying bags and armfuls of merchandise.

Walnut Creek police said three people were arrested, one of whom was carrying a firearm. Over the next two days, a California jewelry store in Hayward, Lululemon in San Jose, Louis Vuitton in Beverly Hills, and Nordstrom in Los Angeles were also robbed in groups of at least three, according to police and local news reports. reports.

On November 15, nine men with hammers smashed shop windows and took thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from a store in Concord, California, local police said.

On November 17, three people stole merchandise from a jewelry store in a mall in Fairfield, California, about 27 miles north of Concord, local police said. Police said they later arrested three people and returned about $ 50,000 in stolen goods.

On the same day, in Oak Brook, Illinois, near Chicago, 14 people seized approximately $ 120,000 worth of goods and fled in three vehicles waiting nearby, police said.

Several Nordstrom employees in Walnut Creek suffered minor injuries, the company said in a statement.

Retailers and loss prevention experts said recent burglaries may be due to several factors, including the proliferation of online marketplaces where unverified sellers can quickly sell or “shield” stolen goods.

“If you close the fences, what are these people going to do with all the goods they steal?” said Lisa LaBruno, executive director of the Retail Leaders Association, a trade association.

Richard Hollinger, a former professor at the University of Florida at Gainesville who researched retail theft, said availability in stores was another factor.

Retailers “want the goods to be as open as possible,” he said, “but now it’s easier to get them.” While such crimes are committed all year round, he said, they tend to receive more attention during the holiday shopping season.

Estimates of how much money retailers lose to “organized retail crime” vary widely – a broadly defined industry term that includes employee robbery and theft.

The Retail Leaders Association, which speaks on behalf of retailers, said this month that organized retail crime cost companies nearly $ 69 billion in 2019. The National Retail Federation said organized retail crime cost retailers more than $ 700,000 on $ 1 billion in sales last year. up from $ 450,000 in 2015.

According to Jacques Britten, editorial director of Loss Prevention Magazine, at a conference in Florida last week hosted by the Law Enforcement and Retail Coalition, a non-profit organization that encourages collaboration between agencies and companies, experts estimated the figure at $ 30 billion.

While retail advocates have acknowledged that “organized retail crime” includes a range of crimes, they have separated it from shoplifting.

Barbara S. Staib, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit National Association for the Prevention of Shoplifting, said the difference was in the number of people involved and their motivation.

Shoplifting is an “opportunistic crime” that is usually committed by one person, she said. “This is not about an organized group of people walking into a store and robbing.”

Mr Britten of Loss Prevention Magazine said that people steal from stores mostly for personal use – for example, they steal a shirt to wear or sell for quick money. According to him, people involved in organized criminal activity in the retail sector “made it their own business.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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