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Spike in smash-and-grab attacks means bad news in store for shoppers

Black Friday is legendary for its Christmas gross sales and packed shops, but when the surge in retail theft — brazen attacks by flash mobs — continues, there quickly could be no shops left to pack.

Places like Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago are seeing waves of “smash and grab” raids, main some outlets to easily shut down. The looters break home windows, flood shops, beat and pepper-spray staff and make off with a whole bunch of hundreds of {dollars} in items.

In Walnut Creek, Calif., close to San Francisco, a mob of 80 stormed a Nordstrom on Saturday, attacking staff and grabbing merchandise by the armful. A day earlier, a mob hit San Francisco’s Union Square, concentrating on 10 retailers.

Chicago’s Magnificent Mile buying district likewise has endured skyrocketing theft, together with a theft of a Neiman Marcus simply final week by three carloads of perps. Vacant shops now make up an extended stretch of North Michigan Avenue.

This is on prime of large shoplifting (mainly decriminalized for small quantities in California) that has retail chains closing shops by the dozen in Golden State cities.

This week, the San Francisco DA charged 9 suspects with felonies for shoplifting price greater than $1 million — but they’re a fraction of these concerned. Fact is, with police overwhelmed, woke prosecutors refusing to make such crimes a precedence and prison penalties closely diminished, looters (and the crime rings they work for) usually face little or no penalties. Organized retail theft has turn out to be a rational profession alternative.

Suspects assaulted a security guard on their way to stealing an estimated $25,000 during a smash-and-grab theft at a Nordstrom store in Canoga Park, Los Angeles.
Suspects assaulted a safety guard on their strategy to steal an estimated $25,000 throughout a smash-and-grab theft at a Nordstrom store in Los Angeles.
abc7

Gotham, for its half, has been fortunate — up to now: Aside from final 12 months’s rioting after the George Floyd killing, it’s been spared smash-and-grab outbreaks. Yet shops right here, too, have seen a tidal wave of thefts, with greater than 26,000 shoplifting instances by September alone, essentially the most to that time in the 26 years the numbers have been tracked.

Last month, The Post reported that 22-year-old Isaac “Man of Steal” Rodriguez had been arrested 46 instances for retail theft this 12 months, and rapidly launched every time. The National Retail Federation ranked New York City fourth in “organized retail crime” amongst prime metro areas.

A shoplifter is captured on video pedaling his way out of a San Francisco Walgreens after stuffing numerous items in a garbage bag.
A shoplifter is captured on video pedaling out of a San Francisco Walgreens after stuffing quite a few gadgets in a rubbish bag.
@LyanneMelendez

It’s not simply companies that undergo: Shoppers, too, lose out when shops shut, and face increased costs as a result of remaining retails should cowl losses, insurance coverage and safety. Organized robberies now value US retailers a whopping $65 billion a 12 months.

Fueling these crimes is identical factor driving the spike in big-city murders: overreaching criminal-justice “reforms,” police departments shrinking in the wake of the Defund the Police motion and progressives’ common anti-cop hostility.

Shelves become empty inside a CVS on the Avenue of the Americas and Spring St. in Soho after numerous robberies on October 6, 2021.
Empty cabinets seen final month inside a CVS in NYC after quite a few robberies.
Helayne Seidman

“Why should a police officer waste time getting into an altercation when the person is not going to jail?” asks Pete Eliadis, a former law-enforcement official and founding father of Intelligence Consulting Partners.

If that doesn’t change, get set to do all of your buying on-line — till criminals goal that, too.

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