The situation with organized theft in the state has been described as an ongoing spree that had shoppers changing their in-person shopping plans. High-end department stores, jewelry shops, and other retail establishments were targeted by groups of people who smashed windows and stole at will.
According to the Daily Mail, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested 14 alleged robbers connected to 11 store lootings in which "nearly $340,000" worth of goods were stolen.
These suspects are back out on the streets again thanks to the city’s "zero bail" policy. "All the suspects taken into custody are out of custody, either as a result of one juvenile, or the others as a result of bailing out or zero-bail criteria," reported LAPD Chief Michel Moore at a Thursday evening news conference.
There has been a substantial uptick in robberies. The numbers rose from 7258 in 2020 to 7542 in 2021, and the year, notably, is not yet over.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said it’s time to end this no-bail policy as the pandemic winds down. "We need the help of our criminal justice system, of our judges, of our jailers," he declared. It ultimately comes down to Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, who will review the cases and evidence therein to pursue criminal charges.
It isn’t solely Los Angeles – other parts of California have felt the crime wave as well. CBS News reported that five suspects walked into a San Jose jewelry store to smash and grab the items in the display cases.
Earlier this year ,the California Supreme Court ordered judges to "consider suspects' ability to pay when they set bail, essentially requiring that indigent defendants be freed unless they are deemed too dangerous to be released awaiting trial."
Psaki gave the surprising remark when asked at her daily briefing about large groups that have been descending upon San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago-area shops for weeks.
“Big cities are dealing with smash-and-grab robberies, a record number of police officers have been shot and killed this year. What is President Biden going to do about all this lawlessness?” Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked.
“Well, Peter, I would say that when the president proposed additional funding in his budget over the funding that had been proposed by the prior president to increase support for local police departments, make sure we keep cops on the beat,” she conceded.