With crime continuing to rage out of control in California, and news stories showing more frequent retail burglaries including “flash mob” robberies, Governor Newsom is tripling the amount of Highway Patrol (CHP) officers assigned to address retail crime in Los Angeles. California Senate Republicans support this increased law enforcement presence in crime-infested neighborhoods, but point out the hypocrisy in the governor’s plan. With the CHP already having hundreds of vacant positions, the governor is adding responsibility to their mission without providing sufficient resources.
“Welcome to ‘CRIMEafornia,” said Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego). “The crisis we are experiencing is unfortunately a result of decades-long policies implemented by Democrat lawmakers that prioritize coddling criminals over protecting communities. While it’s welcome news that the state is investing more resources to combat skyrocketing thefts, it shouldn’t be happening in the first place. The governor is treating the symptoms, not the causes, including little-to-no penalties, early release, lenient or non-existent prison terms, and weak leadership from most of California’s Democrat politicians over the last two decades.”
A recent “flash mob” robbery at a mall in Canoga Park included 30 suspects who raided a Nordstrom that resulted in $300,000 worth of merchandise being stolen. Just days earlier, at least 30 suspects stole $300,000 of merchandise from the Yves Saint Laurent store in Glendale.
To protect residents and businesses trying to survive, earlier this year Senator Roger Niello (R-Fair Oaks) introduced Senate Bill 316. The measure would have increased penalties for petty theft if the offender had previously been convicted of three theft-related crimes including theft, vehicle theft, shoplifting, elder financial abuse, and robbery. SB 316 was killed by the majority party members of the California Senate Public Safety Committee.
“Until we strengthen laws that will result in lawbreakers facing real consequences, Californians are going to continue to see horrible scenes of store lootings occur,” said Senator Niello. “My bill would address this growing crisis and I was very disappointed when it was killed in the Senate Public Safety Committee.”
Even rapper 50 Cent weighed in on the crime crisis, saying, “I told you LA was finished. They are gonna have to lock the doors, appointment only. SMH.”