This holiday season, organized retail crime is an epidemic in liberal-socialist utopias, such as California. Criminals have terrorized San Francisco's Union Square to Walnut Creek retailers in so-called 'smash and grabs.' Now the state's top prosecutor is shedding light on how these criminal gangs orchestrate such thefts.
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta told the LA Times that groups of people smashing windows or loading up shopping carts with stolen merchandise and running out of the store are mostly foot soldiers of organized crime gangs.
He said foot soldiers are directed on social media, text, and other messaging apps of what businesses to hit and guide them to where the most valuable merchandise resides.
Smash And Grab at Louis Vuitton in San Francisco's Union Square
Bonta said the stolen merchandise is then sold online for a large profit.
"You know, the crime we are seeing is organized crime, and it is going to take an organized strategy to put a stop to it," Bonta said.
"These are these folks that have put thought into it, have a strategy, have a plan, focused on certain places at certain times and communicate and work in concert," he added.
His comments come as big-box retailers, online marketplaces, and law enforcement held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the wave of smash and grabs in the state. They are expected to develop a plan to combat thefts and people who resell the stolen merchandise online.
This comes as the 20 retailer CEOs -- including Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., CVS Health, AutoZone, Inc., Nordstrom, Inc., and Foot Locker, Inc., among others, sent a letter to Congressional leadership to make it harder for thieves to resell stolen goods on online marketplaces that do very little to verify the identity of sellers.
"As millions of Americans have undoubtedly seen on the news in recent weeks and months, retail establishments of all kinds have seen a significant uptick in organized crime in communities across the nation," the CEOs said.
"This trend has made retail businesses a target for increasing theft, hurt legitimate businesses who are forced to compete against unscrupulous sellers, and has greatly increased consumer exposure to unsafe and dangerous counterfeit products," they said.
The CEOs said there's no easy way to stop the wave of smash and grabs. Still, they offered new legislation for lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle to support the Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act.
"Large retailers can help ... making sure that they're reporting the theft, communicating with law enforcement, reporting it early and making certain types of security," Bonta said
The retail industry has been decimated by the wave of smash and grabs in liberal cities where progressive lawmakers have downgraded retail theft from a felony to a misdemeanor. Retailers, such as electronic store Best Buy saw its margins slide in its latest quarterly report to do robberies.
Bonta said some of the people that stormed retail stores have been armed with "guns and pepper spray and other weapons."
He said the smash and grabs were driven by greed, not a necessity.
"It's an organized criminal activity to make a profit, and they have secondary marketplaces who take the stolen goods and resell them," Bonta said. "And they can resell them in the state, in other states and even internationally."
He said his next target is to go up the chain of command and target the people at the top who are calling the shots.
"When folks know that there are consequences ... there will be accountability," Bonta said. "And that's how we prevent it."
The wave of smash and grabs is a byproduct of criminal justice reform by progressives and their move to defund the police. People are getting tired of liberals transforming cities into hotbeds of violent crime. Is it only a matter of time before they get voted out of office and law and order is restored? And when will the social media giants be ordered to deplatform these 'mobs' planning smash-and-grabs?