Mass theft in retail stores has dominated headlines in the past weeks, as dozens of suspects are consistently able to flee the scene after walking out of stores with loads of merchandise.
One of the businesses most heavily impacted is Best Buy, which has prompted a response from its CEO Corie Barry.
In an interview with CNBC on Nov. 23, Barry explained that the incidents have created an uneasy work environment for her employees.
“We are seeing more loosely organized groups come together and target our stores, and frankly, you are seeing it across retail,” she said.
“For our employees, these are traumatic experiences, and they are happening more and more across the country”
Two of their locations in Minnesota were looted on Black Friday by swarms of robbers, and Barry referred to San Fransisco, California, as one of the “hot spots” for shoplifting.
While it is a nationwide issue, the situation in the Bay Area is worth looking into more deeply.
San Francisco has dealt with a wave of shoplifting in recent weeks with people mass robbing stores such as Walgreens, Nordstrom and Louis Vitton, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Although some thieves have been caught and charged with felony conduct, as was the case with the Louis Vitton robbery, it is a different story for others, as charges are filed on a case by case basis.
One of the reasons why organized theft is successful in large groups is the fact that it makes it more difficult to catch everyone. People are committing these crimes because they feel like they will be able to get away with it, which is unacceptable.
Two large groups of people walked into two Best Buy locations in Minnesota and stole as much as they could before fleeing. This was the latest incident in a recent spike in “flash mob” thefts. pic.twitter.com/JWwVV01Ydy
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 28, 2021
For California in particular, Proposition 47, which passed in 2014, reclassified shoplifting and grand theft to misdemeanors if the value of the items stolen is under $950.
#Breaking About 25 cars just blocked the street and rushed into the Walnut Creek Nordstrom making off with goods before getting in cars snd speeding away. At least two people arrested at gunpoint. pic.twitter.com/AG3R94M9L3
— Jodi Hernandez (@JodiHernandezTV) November 21, 2021
“My business has been broken into three times this year,” Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom said, according to the Times. Newsom founded the Plumpjack Group, which owns, among other things, a winery in Napa Valley.
“I have no empathy, no sympathy for these folks, and they must be held to account.”
Except Newsom has generally expressed support for Prop. 47, according to KTTV.
If he truly cared about the long-term issue, he would call on the state legislature to suspend or repeal the proposition, as it would discourage this activity by confronting criminals with the threat of more serious consequences for their actions.
Enough is enough. I am introducing a Constitutional Amendment to repeal Proposition 47.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) November 23, 2021
These soft-on-crime policies from Democrat-run states like California have not been met with urgency from the Biden White House, despite playing a powerful role in convincing policymakers at the state and federal level.
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) November 20, 2021
It would be refreshing to see Newsom and others wake up and actually make a difference before mass robberies become the norm, but there needs to be a nationwide push to prevent it.
American consumers and employees alike should never feel unsafe at shopping malls. Unfortunately, progressive rhetoric and policies have fostered an anxious attitude.
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