Payam Javan: According to one Democratic California mayor, the rise of looting as a lifestyle is not linked to COVID-19.
Several California stores have been targeted by gangs of organized looters who show up and raid a store en masse in recent weeks.
The solution, according to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, lies in the eternal acts of criminals looking for a way to get around the law.
“I think criminals are at the root of smash-and-grab crimes. And criminals come up with new arrangements every time that we catch them on the old ones and this is just the nature of criminal enforcement,” Liccardo told “America’s Newsroom” on Friday, according to Fox News.
When asked about the rise in thefts, White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not frame the problem that way in her media briefing on Thursday.
“Does the president still think that crime is up because of the pandemic?” Peter Doocy of Fox News asked Psaki.
“I think many people have conveyed that, and also one of the reasons that crime — one of the root reasons crime we’ve — root causes of crime in communities is guns and gun violence. And we’ve seen that statistically around the country,” Psaki said.
“But, to your point, so when a huge group of criminals organizes themselves and they want to go loot a store — a CVS, a Nordstrom, a Home Depot — until the shelves are clean, do you think that’s because of the pandemic?” Doocy asked in a follow-up question.
“I think a root cause in a lot of communities is the pandemic, yes,” Psaki said.
California’s Proposition 47, according to Liccardo, has not been “helpful” in addressing the rise in smash-and-grab violence.
Shoplifters who steal things worth less than $950 are not charged with a felony under Proposition 47.
Many thieves face felony charges in San Jose, he said, “as they should.”
In an op-ed for the Times of San Diego, Mark Powell, a former reserve San Diego police officer and president of Parents For Quality Education, stated that the issue is Prop 47.
“A society rarely survives without some code of conduct and we can all agree that stealing is illegal. In fact, stealing has been against the law since Biblical times. Laws protect our general safety, and ensure our rights as citizens against abuses by other people, by organizations, and by the government itself,” he wrote.
“But when bad laws such as Prop. 47 are in place they must be amended. Our political leaders need to strengthen property crime laws and enact new legislation or amend current laws — or we can simply get used to being ripped off on a regular basis, feeling there is nothing we can do about it,” he wrote.