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Democratic cities are seeing a wave of loot-pocketing thefts around the holidays, raising concerns about why they are happening and how leaders can combat the problem.

Black Friday saw reports of robberies in Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Chicago. High-end stores in San Francisco were ransacked, with police confiscating thousands of dollars in merchandise.

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Walgreens closed nearly two dozen stores in the boisterous city, earning it the moniker “Shopper’s Paradise.” And in October 2020, law enforcement almost recovered $8 million in stolen goods.

Although recent events have drawn attention to the issue, the increase in retail theft appears to be a long-term trend.

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Robbery thieves attack stores nationwide, kill California security guard as crime rages

The Retail Industry Leaders Association estimated that $68.9 billion worth of products were stolen from retailers in 2019, before COVID-19. In March, the association released the results of a survey showing that a large majority of asset protection managers had reported that. There has been a moderate to significant increase in organized retail crime since the same month last year. Meanwhile, 80% thought the situation would worsen in 2021.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently accused retailers of not doing enough to tackle crime.

“We still have retailers that will not plan on having security officers in their stores, making sure they have cameras that are actually on, locking their wares at night, of high-end bags. Chase,” she said. “These wallets may be something that is attracting a lot of organized retail theft units.”

It’s unclear what exactly is behind the apparent spike in shoplifting, but observers have blamed soft-on-crime policies or the conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Hanson, who serves as the Senior Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at the Association of Retail Industry Leaders, told mountain: “The criminals saw that [increase in online shopping] and said, ‘Oh, my God. More people are shopping online. Let’s get more and more products to sell in the market because we can make a lot of money.'”

“I think that’s why you’ve seen this increase in organized crime since the pandemic, simply because there are more people shopping online and criminals are seeing an opening to sell both stolen and counterfeit goods because there’s a huge market.” Is.”

Police unions blame ACLU for recent robbery and looting incidents: ‘Voters were lied to’

In recent months, particular attention has been paid to prosecutors such as Chicago’s Kim Granthshala, Los Angeles’s George Gascon and San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin – whose victories were supported by groups linked to liberal billionaire George Soros. Neither of his offices provided comment to Granthshala News.

Both Boudin and Gascon, who have faced recall attempts, have been accused of soft on offense,

Pete Eliadis, a former law enforcement officer and CEO of security company Intelligence Consulting Partners, told Granthshala News: “Not only is it being tolerated because we’re seeing more of it, but we’re seeing that there is no prosecution involved.” Is.” “Law enforcement is not going to engage with that type of element because it’s a sanctioned crime.”

Photo of a security guard being hit by bear spray.

Some of the blame has been directed toward California’s Proposition 47—a 2014 law that reduced theft charges from felonies to misdemeanors involving theft of $950 or less. Supporters of the ballot then included-Lieutenant Government Gavin Newsom, then-state Sen. Darrell Steinberg and other Democrats in the state.

“When society removes accountability for bad behavior, criminals are encouraged to commit more crimes, drug addicts poke their noses at compulsory treatment, and vandalism and petty theft in riots robbery and murder.” Changes,” Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, previously told Granthshala News.

Los Angeles mall video shows security guard attacked with bear spray in a smash-and-grab

“No one needs to be outspoken to predict that Proposition 47 of the ACLU in California will turn a family trip to the mall or Home Depot into a dangerous gamble for our residents.”

The ACLU did not respond to a request for comment from Granthshala News.

A spokesman for California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office told Granthshala News on Monday: “Shoplifting and retail theft crime rings are unacceptable.”

“The governor hopes that these criminals will be prosecuted and held accountable for their crimes,” he said. “They have taken immediate action to increase CHP presence on highways near popular shopping areas across the state. This year, Gov. Newsom signed legislation to expand the California Highway Patrol Organized Retail Crime Task Force, and he was in his January Committed to taking additional action in the budget.”

California Law Enforcement had made Task Force in late November amid a string of robberies. Seven Bay Area District Attorneys, including Gascon teamed up In alliance to hold the robbers accountable.

In order to disrupt and destroy crime rings, elected officials and officials need to get serious about prosecution, said Betsy Smith, a former Chicago area law enforcement officer and spokeswoman for the National Police Association.

She notes that the suspected burglars involved in the Ulta Beauty smash-and-grab in Oak Brook will be prosecuted because it sits outside of the Cook County, home. Chicago, She also rejected the idea that COVID-19 was to blame.

Granthshala News’ Louis Cassiano and Emma Colton contributed to this report.