Those interviewed by a Bay Area news station, including a professor of criminal justice and ex-cop, believe the thieves need to be referred to as "organized smash-and-grabs."
The distinction originates from the California penal code, which defines looting as "theft or burglary... during a 'state of emergency,``''local emergency" or "evacuation order resulting from an earthquake, fire, flood, riot or other natural or manmade disaster."
The distinction is essential for specialists like Lorenzo Boyd, PhD, a Professor of Criminal Justice & Community Policing at the University of New Haven, and a retired veteran police officer.
"Looting is a term that we typically use when people of color or urban dwellers are doing something. We tend not to use that term for other people when they do the exact same thing," Boyd announced.
No claim has been made about the identities or races of the thieves involved in the prevailing crime wave.
No local or national emergency has been announced in recent times in the Bay Area, where much of the crime happened.
The specialists maintain that these crimes are not looting because looting tends to be done out of desperation.
"This seems like it's an organized smash and grab robbery," announced Martin Reynolds, co-executive director of the Robert C. Maynard Institute of Journalism Education. "This doesn't seem like looting. We're thinking of scenarios where first responders are completely overwhelmed. And folks, often may be on their own."
On social media, critics from both the worlds of politics and media fumed at what they saw as an effort by woke media to confuse the recent crime wave.
A Marine and Town Hall contributor, Julio Rosas, quipped: "Future CNN chyron: Mostly peaceful shopping in the Bay Area."
Conservative activist and filmmaker - and former convicted felon - Dinesh D'Souza: "Experts refuse to call a spade a spade, unless, of course, it's a spade wielded by a white male."
Ex-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker compared it to the language practiced in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin: "It's looting. Just like there were riots in Kenosha, not just protests."
Conservative media personality Jesse Kelly simply asked: "What's the color of the sky again?"
This comes after three straight days of extensive looting in the San Francisco Bay Area, with California Gov. Gavin Newsom declaring on Monday to get tough with organized gangs of thieves, notwithstanding a 2014 law that prevented prosecutors from charging people suspected of shoplifting with felonies.
After Proposition 47 was approved by voters, anyone caught shoplifting items not surpassing $950 would be charged with misdemeanors.