Two Los Angeles men, apparently confident that no one would stop them if they simply walked into a store and robbed it of merchandise, brazenly walked out of a TJ Maxx in Granada Hills with armfuls of clothes.
Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz, the vice president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, told CBS News, “They didn’t even run out, they walked out. And so, that’s sending a message that we, the criminals, are winning.” She added, “If they’re caught, they’re probably given the equivalent of a traffic ticket. So it’s not taken seriously.”
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In 2014, California passed Proposition 47, which changed the penalty for stealing less than $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor. “Earlier this month, video emerged on social media showing shoplifters brazenly making off with stolen goods after ransacking a local Neiman Marcus store in the Union Square section of San Francisco,” the Daily Mail noted.
Criminal defense attorney Alexandra Kazarian Sandoz cited an incident from last week in which an employee of a Rite Aid in Glassell Park was shot and killed when he attempted to stop two men stealing a case of beer. He stated, “The employees at TJ Maxx have been told that, in these specific circumstances, it’s not worth it for you to go and physically attack, physically stop people that are walking out with this inventory. Because these businesses have insurance.”
Alex Bastian, special advisor to leftist Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, stated, “Once officers make an arrest or cite someone for a crime, they will present the case to our office. We make charging decisions accordingly. We do so based on the facts, the totality of the circumstances, and the law.”
Gascón tweeted earlier this month, “My approach to public safety is shaped by a 40+ yr career in law enforcement, a lifetime of experiences that showed me first-hand that the ‘punishment first” & ‘lock ‘ em up’ approach fails to create long term community safety.”
When Gascón was sworn in December 2020 after serving as the DA of San Francisco from 2011 to 2019, Los Angeles Magazine reported, “He also wants to reevaluate sentences in cases where the inmate has served more than 20 years in state prison, demonstrated signs of rehabilitation, or was sentenced to adult prisons as a child. He will also instruct prosecutors in his office to cease requesting cash bail for any misdemeanor, and non-serious or non-violent felony offense. On January 1, he will eliminate requests for money bail entirely.”
In April, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva blasted Gascón, snapping, “He brought down his 10 Commandments, the tablets from the mountain, his special directives, and expects the entire world to go with it, somehow it’s going to work. Well, it’s not working.” He added that he had only spoken to Gascón once since Gascón was sworn in as DA last December, adding, “We want him to be successful, but it can’t come at the expense of public safety and at the expense of victims of crime. That’s where I have to draw that firm line in the sand.”
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