California Governor Gavin Newsom wants to prosecute marauders involved in a series of massive daylight robberies.
“I have no sympathy, no sympathy for people who smash and grab, steal things from people, wreak havoc and terror on our streets,” a Democrat who recently survived the recall election told reporters at a Monday briefing.
One robbery happened over the weekend in Walnut Creek. Eyewitnesses and video footage showed that more than 50 people gathered at Nordstrom and ransacked the store.
Dozens of other businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area have also been hit by bandits in recent days, officials say. Auckland Police Chief LeRonn Armstrong called the groups “mobile vehicle caravans.”
“We want real responsibility, we want people to be held accountable, and we want people to feel safe this holiday season,” Newsom said, calling the theft “unacceptable.”
His administration recreated the Retail Theft Task Force in July, which has since launched more than 700 investigations. Investigations have led to hundreds of arrests and the seizure of more than $ 20 million worth of stolen items. It is planned to intensify efforts.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, a Democrat whose platform included a promise not to prosecute some lower-level crimes, told KPIX-TV on Tuesday that his office is working to file charges against eight suspects involved in organized theft.
Another twenty-five people are at large in connection with some burglaries.
Boudin said his policies were not related to a series of robberies. But he also said that jail time cannot be justified for some criminals.
“I think it depends on how long and what the crime story is. We cannot generalize, ”he said. “If we are going to be smart in fighting crime, if we are going to effectively break the cycle of incarceration and stop the revolving door, we need to look at each individual case based on the facts, based on the law. depending on individual circumstances. “
The recall of the election against Boudin was announced earlier this month.
Elections are scheduled for June 7, 2022.
Detractors say Boudin’s failure to secure a prison sentence for Troy McAlister, who later hit two pedestrians while driving a stolen car, prompted the recall. They note that Boudin worked as a criminal defense attorney and had no prosecutorial experience before he got a job as a district attorney.
“Chesa Boudin cannot keep the people of San Francisco safe. As car thefts and burglaries have reached critical levels in San Francisco, Boudin’s failure to prosecute serial criminals is putting more of us at risk. If you weren’t a victim of a car or home burglary in the past year, chances are good that you know someone who is the victim. Property crimes are very common. Enough, enough, ”says the Safer SF Without Boudin website.
Supporters argue that Boudin has kept his promise to reduce the number of people in prison and “is constantly fighting for additional support for victims of crime, including financial assistance and housing for survivors of domestic violence.”