California Faces Wave Of Robberies In Retail Stores

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Following several recent headline-grabbing retail robberies, California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced he will seek more than $300 million in state funding over three years to fight the crime.

“The issue of crime and violence is top of mind not only in the entire state of California, but in the entire United States, highlighted recently by some high-profile retail theft operations,” Newsom said Friday.


He added that “these organized mobs … (have) a profound impact on our feelings of safety here in this state, this region and, as I point out, this country.”

Newsom proposed awarding $255 million in grants to local law enforcement agencies to put more officers in stores to deter retail crime over the next three years.

An additional $30 million over three years in the budget he will send to lawmakers next month would go to county prosecutors to support the prosecution of crimes related to auto and retail theft.

Another $18 million over three years would go toward creating a new “special organized robbery unit” under the command of the state attorney general, with investigators and prosecutors dedicated to going after organized crime kingpins.

Retailers in California and other cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis have recently been the victims of large-scale robberies when people show up in groups for mass shoplifting events or break into stores and smash and empty windows.

California retailers have said criminals face little to no consequences after being caught.