Experts say the part of theft that fails to prosecute criminals is rampant bickering and tolerated by authorities


Experts say that in many cities in America, night-time retail thefts are organized, where thieves rob shops and steal a handful of cheap and luxury goods, failing to prosecute criminals and the generalizability of such behavior.

The latest incident occurred Monday when at least 20 people smashed windows at a Nordstrom department store in Los Angeles ‘popular shopping and entertainment complex, The Sledgehammer, and stole thousands of dollars’ worth of items, police said. At least three suspects have been arrested.

The thefts followed a series of smash and grab incidents in the San Francisco area over the weekend, in which Nordstrom in Walnut Creek was hit by at least 90 people, some wearing ski masks and armed with crowbar. Three people have been charged in that theft, two employees have been assaulted and one has been pepper sprayed, officials said.

California Nordstrom robbed by 80 looters in ski masks with crowbars and weapons: witness

Louis Vuitton in Union Square in San Francisco was almost empty Friday night, as thieves were seen fleeing from a high-end retailer with expensive merchandise. Nine people have been charged in the incident. Other stores targeted in the city that night include Bloomingdales, Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, Walgreens and marijuana dispensaries, officials said. At least 12 stores were said to have been attacked in the city over the weekend.

Across the Bay of Oakland, the Wellspring Pharmacy was robbed Saturday, with dozens of looters dressed in black hoodies and masks robbed of shelves and fleeing with drugs.

In suburban Chicago, 14 suspects stole $ 100,000 merchandise from a Louis Vuitton store last week because they robbed everything they could carry. On November 12, the Ulta Beauty Store in Oak Brook, Illinois, was robbed for $ 15,000.

Security experts say the brazen nature of the crimes is the result of several factors.

Louis Vuitton store in Union Square, SF, ’empty’; 8 Captives: Report

“We are seeing it more because it is being tolerated but there is no prosecution,” Pete Eliadis, former law enforcement officer and CEO of security company Intelligence Consulting Partners, told LBL. “Law enforcement is not going to engage with those types of elements because it is an accepted crime.”

On Tuesday, the San Francisco mayor announced that the city would limit car access to Union Square in response to the London Breed theft crowd. The Bay Area has been hit particularly hard by retail thieves. According to police statistics, the Central District saw a 753% increase in such crimes from May to 2021 last year.

Former Chicago-area law enforcement officer and spokesman for the National Police Association, Betsy Smith, says elected officials and officials need to be serious about prosecuting and dismantling crime rings.

He noted that the suspected thieves involved in the Ulta Beauty Smash-and-Grab in Oak Brook would be prosecuted as they were located outside of Cook County, home of Chicago.

“The guys who did that are in jail,” Smith said. “The guys who did that stuff didn’t even know they crossed the county line to DuPage County … and DuPage County state attorneys wouldn’t tolerate it.”

Crime networks have taken a toll on at least one of the largest electronic retailers.

“I think you’ve probably seen in the media that throughout retail, we’re definitely seeing more and more, specifically, organized retail crime and shrinking incidents in our places. And I think you’ve heard other retailers talk about it, and we’ve definitely seen that.” Best Buy CEO Cory Barry Said on the company The thirdQuarterly earnings Call on Tuesday.

In a separate call, he told reporters that the company is seeing an increase in organized theft across the country, but especially in San Francisco.

Prior to last weekend’s events, several Bay Area incidents involving thieves went viral and highlighted a growing trend. One involved throwing things into a trash bag and then bicycling from Walgreens in front of store staff and security guards.

In Los Angeles, authorities have warned of a trend of robberies known as “follow home,” in which suspects targeted victims in the city’s jewelry district, high-end restaurants and nightclubs. They then follow them to separate areas, such as a home or parking lot, and rob.

Earlier this month, the LAPD said it was investigating 110 such robberies involving at least six different street gangs. On Tuesday, the LAPD announced a follow-up home task force comprising 20 detectives from its robbery and homicide division to solve crimes.

Some retailers and California’s elected officials have charged Proposition 47, which is a voter-approved measure, that reduced theft charges under $ 950 to felonies by felonies.

Republican state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley said he intends to introduce legislation to put the law on the ballot in an attempt to repeal it.

“You have people who can go from the department store to the department store and rob them with impunity,” Kiley told LBL. “It’s one of the things that makes California, particularly San Francisco, so simply uninhabitable and unsafe.”

He said the lower limit would encourage criminal gangs to pursue re-offending without fear of prosecution. Earlier this month, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Bowdin announced charges against a “prolific retailer” for 120 incidents of stealing more than $ 40,000 worth of merchandise from a Target store over the course of a year.

At the state level, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill in July to create a criminal task force around the California Highway Patrol and local agencies to address organized theft.

Whatever the reason for the increase in theft, experts agree that the COVID-19 epidemic is not guilty.

“That’s very silly,” Smith said. “(Chicago Mayor) Lori Lightfoot is still hanging onto it. She blames every crime in Chicago for the epidemic.”

“When we were locked down during an epidemic, I felt the need to steal from my local Ulta or Louis Vuitton store,” he said.

In addition to the cost of doing business, the effects of large scale retail theft can impact communities. Walgreens announced in October that it plans to close at least five San Francisco locations in response to the rampant theft.

“If you own a store and you know your store is being robbed and can’t be returned at the end of the legal process, why reinvest in that community?” Said Eliadis.

Related Articles

Alec Burks shone in the Knicks victory over the Emmanuel Quickly Hawks

ATLANTA - Tom Thibodeau said with a straight face 90 minutes before the Knicks game tip-off against the Hawks on Saturday night, with...

The Giants match the rival Eagles with a little spark

It can be very juicy. Instead, it dried up like a 4-day-old Thanksgiving turkey. It is likely that the Giants-Eagles will drip...

The Nets fall to the league-best Suns in front of a record audience

The Nets looked worse than they did on Saturday night ... the last time they played a top team. There may be correlation....

Latest Posts

Alec Burks shone in the Knicks victory over the Emmanuel Quickly Hawks

ATLANTA - Tom Thibodeau said with a straight face 90 minutes before the Knicks game tip-off against the Hawks on Saturday night, with...

The Giants match the rival Eagles with a little spark

It can be very juicy. Instead, it dried up like a 4-day-old Thanksgiving turkey. It is likely that the Giants-Eagles will drip...

The Nets fall to the league-best Suns in front of a record audience

The Nets looked worse than they did on Saturday night ... the last time they played a top team. There may be correlation....

The Jets’ Quincy Williams is looking to get out of the shadow of his brother

HOUSTON - When Quincy Williams was drafted by the Jaguars in the third round of the 2019 draft, he heard a lot that...

Liberalism is a ‘crap bumper sticker’ with policies that fail: Don Bongino

Dan Bongino said on Saturday in "Unfiltered" that Democrats prefer slogans on bumper stickers, but that doesn't translate into policies that work for...