In recent months there has been a disturbing trend of smash and grabs and teen mobs in major cities across the country. These incidents have caused millions of dollars in damage and have left many businesses and residents feeling unsafe.
There is no single cause of these crimes, but some blame soft on crime policies. These policies, which often involve reducing penalties for crimes or releasing criminals early from prison, have created an environment where criminals feel less likely to be punished for their actions.
We are seeing more and more brazen crimes being committed. In one recent incident, a group of teens robbed a Nordstrom store in California in broad daylight.
On Saturday, August 13, 2023, a mob of up to 50 teens robbed a Nordstrom store at the Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park.
The teens were dressed in hoodies and masks and stormed the store at around 4:15 p.m., smashing display cases and grabbing merchandise. They also attacked a security guard with bear spray.
The total value of the stolen merchandise is estimated to be between $100,000 and $200,000. Police are still searching for the suspects.
This is the second time in a week that a Nordstrom store in the Los Angeles area has been robbed by a mob of teens. On Tuesday, August 8, 2023, a group of up to 30 teens robbed a Yves Saint Laurent store at the Brand shopping center in Glendale.
The teens in that robbery also wore hoodies and masks and smashed display cases. They were able to steal about $300,000 in merchandise.
Black Political Opinion: Commercial terrorists born from soft on crime policies like Prop 47
Proposition 47 was a ballot measure passed by California voters in 2014 that reduced certain theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors.
The law was intended to reduce mass incarceration and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. However, there is growing debate over whether Proposition 47 has had unintended consequences.
Gavin Newsom has defended Prop 47, while pointing out prosecutors can go after organized retail crime under current law — and encouraging them to do so. “These are not victimless crimes, Newsom said last year, “and I have no empathy for these criminal elements.” -(Source)
The rise in smash and grabs and retail theft in general is a serious problem. The decriminalization of crime is one factor that has contributed to the problem, but it is not the only factor.
Teenagers, like adults who are engaging in organized retail theft - commercial terrorism of stores, malls and other venues, should be held accountable for their actions and should face consequences, including jail time.
Black Political Opinion is a multi-part opinion-editorial series that looks at various political topics, news, and views, from the perspective of a Black female, conservative leaning Independent.
Read More Black Political Opinion: