Former President Trump is calling on Democratic city leaders to bring in the National Guard to help combat an onslaught of robberies across the country.
‘If Democrats don’t immediately stop smash-and-grab robberies, which are taking place in their cities, the National Guard must be called out,’ the former president said in a statement Tuesday.
Earlier this month, a band of up to 40 thieves stormed a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco, smashing windows and grabbing whatever items were in reach before loading them into cars that were waiting outside. They made off with over $1 million in merchandise.
‘There has never been such a thing that has happened in our Country. Large numbers of stores are leaving San Francisco and other cities. Some chains are closing most of their stores, it is all not even believable,’ Trump said.
On Black Friday, a roaming pack of burglars ransacked the Bottega Veneta store in Los Angeles’ trendy Beverly Grove before making their way to Home Depot. At the home improvement chain, eight of them stole sledgehammers, wrenches and hammers, threatened customers and then fled in 10 getaway cars.
Former President Trump is calling on Democratic city leaders to bring in the National Guard to help combat an onslaught of robberies across the country
Los Angeles police said such items could be used in future burglaries.
In another Black Friday incident, dozens of looters descended on a Minneapolis mall and brazenly marched through two Best Buy locations, taking whatever they liked with them off the shelves.
Earlier in the week, so-called ‘smash-and-grab’ gangs struck a Nordstrom in Canoga Park, Los Angeles, snatching $25,000 of high-end luxury goods and bear spraying a security guard in the process.
Nordstrom was also targeted by flash mob thieves who raided a branch of the department store in Walnut Creek, east of San Francisco.
On that occasion, more than 90 looters could be seen entering the store and making off with good within a matter of minutes.
One incident occurred near the Burnsville mall in suburban Minneapolis with about 12 people rushing in to steal items, while a second incident occurred in Maplewood – about 25 miles northeast – on Friday night with a larger group of 30 people looting electronics.
Both incidents occurred at around the same time and police are looking to see if they are connected in any way.
The wave of robberies come as a number of Democrat-run cities are reversing plans to divert funding from their police force.
New York City allocated an additional $200 million to its police department this year after cutting its budget last year; Los Angeles gave its department a three percent boost. New York overwhelmingly elected a tough-on-crime former police officer to be its next mayor come January.
Cities like Dallas and Austin brought their police budgets to new heights this year after slashing them last.
A group of about 40 to 50 teenage shoplifters made off with an unknown amount of jewelry and other items in Hayward, California, on Sunday. Experts and officials say national crime networks are behind many of the ‘smash-and-grab ‘ operations
Minneapolis voters on Nov. 2 rejected a proposal to replace the city’s police department with a new Department of Public Safety.
The Defund the Police movement also hit a road block in crime-riddled Seattle, where pro-police candidates led several races in the progressive city on Tuesday.
The Minneapolis initiative proposed a change to the city charter to remove a requirement to have a police department with a minimum number of officers. Supporters said a complete overhaul of policing was necessary to stop police violence.
And outrage ensued over progressive crime policies after a vicious car attack in Kenosha, Wisconsin left six dead and scores injured at a Christmas parade just before Thanksgiving. The suspect had been released on $1,000 bail that day after allegedly trying to kill the mother of his child.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Monday revealed plans to reverse cuts to the city’s police department and seek to hire more officers amid a spike in violence and homicides.
The mayor’s announcement came after a weekend that saw three people gunned down, including retired police officer and father of two Kevin Nishita, and a 1-year-old boy hit by a stray bullet as he sat in the back of his mother’s car.
It brings the number of homicides in the city to 127 so far this year.
Schaaf announced that she will ask the city council to reverse funding cuts scheduled to take effect next year, and will instead present a plan to keep a minimum of 678 officers to re-start the city’s Ceasefire crime reduction program.
‘That analysis will make the case that additional police staffing is needed in the wake of this violent spree,’ Schaaf told reporters Monday on a Zoom call.
‘When those messages and services are not effective… the consequences must be swift and certain.’
‘There is nothing progressive about unbridled gun violence.’
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Monday announced plans to abandon planned police spending cuts and hire more officers after a spate of gun violence and fatal shootings has left residents on edge (Schaaf pictured July 2021)
Oakland security guard, father-of-two and grandfather-of-three Kevin Nishita was one of three people killed in Oakland over the weekend. He was shot while protecting a TV crew reporting on smash-and-grab raid.
Nishita was working as a security guard protecting a television crew reporting at the scene of a smash and grab raid (pictured) when he was gunned down
From New York City to Los Angeles – in cities that had some of the largest Black Lives Matter protests, and some with an extensive history of police brutality – police departments are seeing their finances partially restored in response to rising crime, an officer exodus and political pressures.
In June 2020, one of the United States’ most progressive cities – Portland – cut millions from the police budget, only for the city council to introduce a fall budget bump earlier this month that included increasing the current $230 million police budget by an additional $5.2 million.
Schaaf said efforts to shift lower-level policing to other departments and efforts aimed at diverting those convicted to other services have not been enough, while police staffing had also fallen below a 2014 voter-approved measure that requires the police department to have at least 678 sworn officers on staff.
The union that represents Oakland police called the dwindling number of officers ‘yet another broken promise to Oakland residents by the ‘defund-the-police’ majority on city council.’
Meanwhile, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said in a news conference last week: ‘I’m asking council members to step up and start having a conversation about the loss of life in this city.’
‘Beyond the politics of whether you support the police, there is a clear problem in this city and that this city had to deal with overwhelming violence over the weekend and it’s unacceptable.’
A protester holds a sign calling for the defunding of police at a protest on July 25, 2020, in Oakland, CA. Oakland officials will reverse plans to cut police funding and seek to hire more officers as soon as possible. according to Mayor Libby Schaaf
A news team from KRON4 had been reporting on Wednesday on a robbery which had involved 12 armed thugs wearing masks and hoods targeting a Prime 356 clothing store in Oakland, when security guard and ex-cop Kevin Nishita was gunned down. (pictured: Police are seen arriving at the scene following the incident)
California’s Proposition 47 – lighter sentences for thieves
Proposition 47 was passed by California voters on November 5, 2014.
It made some ‘non-violent’ property crimes, where the value of the stolen goods does not exceed $950, into misdemeanors.
It also made some ‘simple’ drug possession offenses into misdemeanors, and allows past convictions for these charges to be reduced to a misdemeanor by a court.
Under California law, though, if two or more person’s conspire to ‘cheat and defraud any person or any property, by any means which are in themselves criminal’ they can face no more than one year in county prison, a fine of $10,000 or a combination of the two.
Meanwhile, cities across the state of California faced as torrent of violent robberies during the week of Black Friday despite California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s vow to crack down on organized ‘smash and grabs’ plaguing the state.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has vowed to crack down on organized ‘smash-and-grabs’ plaguing the state.
Newsom promised last week week to provide an ‘exponential level of support’ in the next state budget to help cities combat retail theft rings.
He also pledged to increase police patrols across the state in shopping malls to discourage looters on and around Black Friday, but to no avail.
In the last week, thieves have made off with tens of thousands of dollars in luxury goods amid soft misdemeanor theft laws in the Democrat-run state.
‘People see the ability to commit these ‘smash-and-grab incidents’ knowing that there is little consequence, especially if the thefts are kept below the threshold of a felony offense,’ Lynda Buel, president of Ohio-based security consulting firm SRMC, told CNN.
‘It’s easy, it’s fast, and the payback is good.’
Aside from the organized crime rings, the growing problem has been attributed to police officers’ apparent reluctance to pursue retail criminals in the current political climate, prosecutors’ failure to prioritize larceny and theft, and the decriminalization of low-level offenses in some jurisdictions.
Law enforcement also say that mercenary thieves are being recruited for up to $1,000 to steal the expensive goods that are then shipped across state lines and sold on the internet. The sophisticated method makes it harder for cops to track the criminals.