By Evan Symon, California Globe
During a speech at a San Francisco vaccine clinic on Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom denounced the high-profile high-end retail robberies that occurred in the Bay Area this weekend, vowing to increase state budgetary support to fight retail theft rings.
Over the last several years, San Francisco and the Bay area have experienced a high rise in crime. Multiple city and state-level criminal justice reforms, along with San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s lax criminal prosecution policies, have encouraged criminals in the city with more brazen robberies, such as a Neiman Marcus being robbed in broad daylight in July. However, the weekend high-end Union Square robberies in San Francisco and and the 80-person Walnut Creek Nordstrom robbery had such a national impact that state lawmakers have finally had to weigh in on the situation in the city.
“We want real accountability. We want people prosecuted and we want people to feel safe this holiday season,” said Governor Newsom in his speech. “I’m not the mayor of California. But I was a mayor. And I know when things like this happen, mayors have to step up. That’s not an indictment. That’s not a cheap shot.”
“I have no sympathy or empathy for those involved in the recent thefts. Gotta be tough on this. They are stealing a sense of place and confidence. I plan to include an exponential level of support in the upcoming budget to help cities address retail theft rings and other quality of life issues.”
DA Boudin, who is currently fighting a recall attempt fueled in part by the massive rise in crime in the city since he took office, also responded to the increased crime during the weekend.
“These crimes are happening around the Bay and across the country. I stand in partnership with our local, regional, state, and federal partners as we work together to do whatever it takes to keep you safe,” tweeted Boudin. “My organized retail theft task force is proactively leading more than half a dozen multi-agency investigations to dismantle fencing operations that make crime profitable.”