San Francisco Smash-and-Grabbers Rush in with Sledgehammers, Encounter with the Wrong 73-Year-Old Sends Them Running


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

When those in power fail to act, sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands.

That’s exactly what 73-year-old Albert Marcu did on Dec. 11 when a group of five young men attempted to rob the Estates Consignments store where he works in Pleasant Hill, California, roughly 30 miles northeast of San Francisco.

“I was preparing for this type of situation by looking around at what’s going on here in [the] Bay Area, San Francisco. My neighbors, my colleagues get robbed,” Marcu said Dec. 15 on Fox News’ “Jesse Watters Primetime.”

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The encounter was captured on the shop’s surveillance camera, which showed Marcu pointing his .38 caliber pistol at the suspects as they rushed into the store.

Upon seeing Marcu and his firearm, the group ran.

“They ran because they saw my gun, and, you know, I was serious about it,” he told KTVU-TV.

“They panicked, and they ran out,” Marcu said.

Marcu believes that a woman who was walking around the store before the men entered was scoping the shop out and relaying information to the suspects.

Although police quickly responded to the scene, the men took off before any arrests could be made or information gathered.

This is just another example of the crime wave that has overtaken California, particularly in and around the major cities.

The passage of the criminal justice “reform” initiative Proposition 47 paved the way for a seemingly never-ending string of smash-and-grab robberies in the state by reclassifying most thefts under $950 from felonies to misdemeanors.

In addition, progressive prosecutors’ soft stances on crime have empowered criminals to violate the law with little fear of punishment.

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For instance, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon and former San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin campaigned on ending cash bail for all criminal cases.

With crime now rampant, such policies have received such substantial backlash that Gascon attempted to rescind his bail reform and Boudin was recalled in June 2022.

In many cases, progressive prosecutors have either failed or outright refused to ensure the safety of their constituents.

“Jails do nothing to treat the root cause of crime,” Boudin’s campaign platform declared.

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This mischaracterization and oversimplification of crime is infuriating. After all, the suspects who tried to rob Marcu’s store probably weren’t trying to add to their jewelry collections.

“What these people don’t understand — these social justice warriors — is these aren’t just poor people that are going and stealing things,” “Fox & Friends” co-host Lawerence Jones said Dec. 15. “This is part of a criminal enterprise.

“These people loot, they steal and then they give it over and turn it online and resell this stuff.”

Progressive prosecutors are a big reason citizens like Albert Marcu are forced to take matters into their own hands to keep themselves and their community safe.

But it’s also progressive prosecutors who want to impose more restrictions on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

So not only are they failing to enforce the law and allowing crime to run rampant, but they also want to restrict the ability of ordinary citizens to defend themselves.

Marcu’s encounter should serve as a cautionary tale to those in favor of restricting the right to bear arms.

If he weren’t armed, the suspects could have stolen whatever they pleased from the store, and Marcu himself could have been seriously injured or killed. The business might have suffered a loss that it could not recover from.

Instead, because Marcu was able to take matters into his own hands, nothing was stolen — and no one was hurt.

Police cannot always prevent crime before it happens. And in those cases where nothing is standing between criminals and their victims, it is only logical that the victims should have the ability to defend themselves.

If progressive prosecutors aren’t up to the task of enforcing the law, they shouldn’t stand in the way of those who have the courage to do so.

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Deputy Managing Editor

The Western Journal

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Anthony Altomari is a commentary writer for the Western Journal. He focuses his writing on culture and politics.
Anthony Altomari is a commentary writer for the Western Journal. He focuses his writing on culture and politics.