Newsom announces increased assistance to Bay Area cities following series of retail thefts

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California is boosting its aid to Bay Area cities following the recent cases of mass organized retail thefts attacking shopping districts, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

The governor, in a press conference regarding the COVID-19 vaccine boosters, said the thefts in San Francisco, Walnut Creek, San Jose and Hayward were “unacceptable. Period, full stop,” San Francisco Chronicle reported.

According to him, the California Highway Patrol had worked together with San Francisco and Walnut Creek police in the hours following the robberies. They had already ramped up patrol on Interstate 680 and State Route 4. He said there will be “substantially more” officers deployed beginning today.

The governor furthered that he already tackled the subject with San Francisco Mayor London Breed through texts, adding that retailers and state officials have convened regarding the matter.

Union Square visitors look at damage to the Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco on Saturday after thieves ransacked the store on Friday night.

Retailers have called for a boost in police presence in and around Bay Area shopping malls “so people see a visible presence on deterrence,” the governor said.

His business was not spared from robbers, referring to a three-time breaking-in incident at PlumpJack Wine & Spirits in San Francisco this year.

“I have no empathy, no sympathy, for these folks and they must be held to account,” the governor said.

He announced that additional funding for retail theft probes is included in the budget request he will file soon to the Legislature. It also includes other matters regarding the city residents’ quality of life.

Newsom also added that in July, the state has recreated a retail theft task force. It led to several investigations, arrests, and nearly $20 million in item recovery.

“We want real accountability, we want people prosecuted, and we want people to feel safe,” he said.