Written by T. Logan Dayne
An uptick in smash-and-grab looting in major cities has many concerned. Retailers targeted jewelry stores and brands such as Lululemon, Nordstrom, Best Buy, and Louis Vuitton. After a year filled with riots, sometimes referred to as “mostly peaceful” protests, and cries that the U.S. needs to defund and abolish the police, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claims that it is actually the pandemics’ fault that crime is on the rise. Whether she believes that the theft and burglary are symptoms of COVID-19 or having a Gucci handbag reduces your risk of contracting the virus she did not elaborate on. Psaki did go on to say that the Biden administration will be working with communities to create “strike forces” to help crack down on crime, which rings contrary to the messaging of many Democratic representatives in Congress.
It is also contrary to the statements of the leaders of one of those communities, namely Sam Liccardo, the Democrat Mayor of San Jose. “I think criminals are at the root of smash-and-grab crimes. And criminals come up with new arrangements every time that we catch them on the old ones and this is just the nature of criminal enforcement,” says Liccardo. The mayor would go on to say that San Jose did not defund it’s police department and that stopping crime goes beyond political parties, rather that stopping crime “is about being smart.”
Despite this statement, he would go on to say that California’s Prop 47 measure has not been helpful in reducing crime. Prop 47 was the proposition that would downgrade property theft of less that $950 in value to a misdemeanor rather than a felony. To no one’s surprise, this led to an increase in shoplifting, theft, and vandalizing. Solutions to stopping theft are still being discussed as California leaders and law enforcement find ways to help its citizens while following Democratic legislation which seems to do the exact opposite.
Photo Cred: Beth LaBerge / AP file