Newsom outlines state action to stop retail thefts after weekend of smash-and-grabs in Bay Area

California

Gavin Newsom said Monday that his administration is responding to a rash of weekend smash-and-grab robberies in the San Francisco Bay Area and explained how he is supporting local efforts to stop the rampant retail thefts, KTLA sister station KRON reports

“I have no sympathy, no empathy whatsoever with people smashing, grabbing, stealing people’s items, creating havoc and terror in our streets — none,” Newsom said at an event in the Bay Area. “They’re not just stealing people’s products and impacting their livelihoods, they’re stealing a sense of place and confidence,” Newsom said.

The state is offering expertise, training and data to local investigators, Newsom said. He added that California Highway Patrol reached out to the police departments in San Francisco and Walnut Creek “within hours” of the crimes, one of which involved 80 people ransacking a local Nordstrom where police and witnesses say employees were assaulted and merchandise was stolen.

In addition, he said state officials met with retailers directly to ask what they need, which was more law enforcement presence at store locations. This is beginning to be enforced at shopping malls and plazas on Monday all around the Bay Area, he added.

He hinted that there is an “exponential” increase in supporting these local efforts within the state budget, but did not get into detail.

There were multiple retail smash-and-grabs in the weekend ahead of Thanksgiving. See the map:

But it wasn’t just this past weekend.

A marijuana dispensary was robbed in Martinez on Nov. 17. Two suspects were armed with handguns. In addition, three other jewelry stores were targeted last week – one in Fairfield, one in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and one in Concord in which a whole group was caught on camera smashing the jewelry displays.

Mayor London Breed also said the city is going to start limiting car access to Union Square due to the brazen thefts, so it would be more difficult for thieves to drive off.

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