Newsom defends prop. 47, says smash-and-grab burglars should be prosecuted – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP / CBSLA) In the wake of a rash of smash-and-grab looting in stores across the country, California Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday in clear terms that he believes shoplifters should be prosecuted under existing California laws when he called local officials out , which he said has been reluctant to do so.

Workers set up boards after a smashing burglary at the Nordstrom store in The Grove in the Fairfax district. November 23, 2021. (CBSLA)

He responded to a recent series of major thefts in Los Angeles and across California, where groups of individuals shoplift en masse from shops or smash and grab from showcases. Some operators have also been a growing problem for retailers, who say the thieves have little impact.

On Nov. 21, the storefronts of a Louis Vuitton and a Saks Fifth Avenue on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills were damaged by smash-and-grab burglary.

On November 22, a large group of looters participated in a smashing burglary in Nordstrom in The Grove in the Fairfax district. Three suspects were arrested after a police pursuit.

On November 24, a Nordstrom in the Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park was also hit by several burglars.

On November 26, a large group crashed into a Bottega Veneta clothing store on Melrose in Beverly Grove.

A smashing burglary also took place in an Alhambra ice cream shop on November 27th.

Newsom, a Democrat who has boasted of his efforts to reform criminal justice, promised that the proposed budget he will send to state lawmakers next month will “significantly increase our efforts to go after those detail rings.”

Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Newsom nominee who has proclaimed his own progressive reforms, made similarly harsh comments on Wednesday.

Both defended Proposition 47, a ballot paper approved by California voters in 2014 that reduced certain offenses of theft and possession of drugs from crimes to misdemeanors.

Property crime has dropped significantly since then, despite recent high-profile cases, Newsom said. State crime statistics show that property crimes fell by 7.7% last year, led by a nearly 15% drop in thefts and a 4% drop in burglaries.

But Newsom said both the recent wave of mass thefts and the lack of prosecution are “unacceptable.”

“If people break in, people steal your property, they have to be arrested. The police have to arrest them. Prosecutors have to prosecute them. Judges have to hold people accountable for breaking the law,” Newsom said. empathy for these criminal elements. “

Even thefts under $ 950 should be prosecuted as misdemeanors or “stacked” into criminal charges if there are repeated offenses, he said, arguing that some officials “choose” not to do so.

“I would like to see local efforts. I want to see them strengthened, “said Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco. “Look at the laws. You have the ability. Stack up repeat offenders and go to court.”

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin last week announced charges against nine people for a series of thefts, and Bay Area prosecutors announced a joint effort to combat organized retail theft.

LA County District Attorney George Gascón, who also ran a reform platform, did not respond to requests for comment.

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