Rampant smash-and-grab theft part of failure to prosecute criminals, tolerated by officials, experts say
November 25, 2021 at 00:19
The thefts followed a series of smash-and-grab incidents in the San Francisco area over the weekend, including one where a Nordstrom in Walnut Creek was hit by at least 90 people, with some wearing ski masks and armed with crowbars.
Three people have been charged in that theft, in which two employees were assaulted and one was pepper-sprayed, authorities said.
On Nov. 12, an Ulta Beauty store in nearby Oak Brook, Illinois was ransacked to the tune of $15,000.
Security experts said the brazen nature of the crimes is a result of a multitude of reasons.
On Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the city will limit car access to Union Square in response to the theft mobs.
The Bay Area has been particularly hit hard by retail thieves.
In a separate call, she told reporters the company is seeing an increase in organized theft nationwide, but particularly in San Francisco.
"You have people that can go from department store to department store and rob them with impunity," Kiley told Fox News.
"It's one of the things that's making California, particularly San Francisco, simply unlivable and unsafe."
Whatever the cause of the uptick in theft, experts agree the COVID-19 pandemic isn't to blame.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAside from the cost of doing business, the consequences of large-scale retail theft can impact communities.
Walgreens announced in October that it planned to shutter at least five San Francisco locations in response to rampant theft.