White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed that criminals organizing to loot and shoplift in department stores is due to the pandemic during a White House daily briefing on Thursday.
“When a huge group of criminals organizes themselves and they want to go loot a store—a CVS, Nordstorm, a Home Depot—until the shelves are clean, you think that’s because of the pandemic?” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki.
“I think the root cause in a lot of communities is the pandemic, yes,” Psaki replied.
REPORTER: “When a huge group of criminals organizes themselves and they want to go loot a store—a CVS, Nordstorm, a Home Depot—until the shelves are clean, you think that’s because of the pandemic?”
JEN PSAKI: “Yes” pic.twitter.com/qUKeWFSXkS
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 2, 2021
The question followed a discussion of key staffers for Vice President Kamala Harris leaving her office, most recent being Symone Sanders who just announced plans to leave her role in the White House at the end of the year.
“So this is not a case about bad headlines against the vice president and a decision being made to shake up the staff to fix an image issue?” Doocy asked.
Psaki answered that was not the case with Sanders.
“I would say working on a presidential campaign — maybe covering one too, to be fair — and working in the first year of a White House is grueling and exhausting and rewarding,” Psaki said. “I would just note there has been an announcement about Symone Sanders departing but hasn’t been official announcements about others. I would leave it to them and the vice president’s team to make any additional announcements.”
A growing number of examples have recently been reported of organized shoplifting and looting crimes in cities nationwide.
The Daily Wire previously reported that a group of thieves stole more than $20,000 worth of merchandise from a cosmetics store in the Philadelphia area last week.
Five individuals wearing masks entered the store, grabbed as much as they could, and left within a minute, fleeing the scene in a dark-colored sedan. The theft took place at the Ulta Beauty store in the Hamilton Crossings shopping center in Lower Macungie Township, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles north of Philadelphia, at around 6:30 p.m. Monday night. Pennsylvania State Police are currently investigating the matter, interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance, WFMZ 69 Lehigh Valley reported.
A wave of “smash-and-grab” style burglaries has arisen across the country. Stores in multiple states were targeted on the Black Friday shopping holiday. A Home Depot in Lakewood, California was robbed by a mob of between 8 and 20 people between the ages of 15 and 20 on Friday, The Daily Wire reported.
The thieves arrived in 10 vehicles, put on ski masks, and stole sledgehammers, hand hammers, and crowbars, prompting fears that some would be used in future burglaries. The robbery was the latest in California, which has become the epicenter of the crime spree that has since spread nationwide.
Two Best Buy stores in the Minneapolis area were also robbed on Black Friday. A mob of 20-30 people stole an unknown amount of merchandise from the Best Buy near Burnsville Center around 8 pm. At the same time, another group of about 10-12 adults and children stole “high-value items” from a Best Buy near Maplewood Mall, including TVs, tablets, and hoverboards.