Governor Newsom hires California Highway Patrol to help stop and capture robberies – CBS San Francisco
PALO ALTO (KPIX) – This Christmas season, the California Highway Patrol will provide additional armed protection in major malls across the state as retail robberies become more frequent and bolder.
Governor Gavin Newsom ordered state officials to step up patrols on the highways next to busy California malls and stop at the malls.
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“Not only do they steal people’s products and livelihoods, they steal a sense of place and trust,” Newsom said.
The CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force plans to also assist local law enforcement agencies in investigating retail crime and recovering stolen goods. As of 2019, the task force has made 240 arrests and seized $ 18.9 million in stolen property.
“I don’t feel safe anymore,” said Jocelyn Quiroz. “We’re trying not to go to San Francisco anymore because it doesn’t make sense to go there at the moment.”
Quiroz, who went shopping at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto on Monday, said she was more vigilant about her surroundings and picky about where to go after recent retail smash-and-grabs when shopping.
The wave of robberies has hit the entire Bay Area. The San Francisco police recently made multiple arrests of a brazen breakdown of a Louis Vuitton store. About 40 thieves stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods. An estimated 80 robbers searched a north stream in Walnut Creek. Shops in Palo Alto, Concord and San Jose were also recently hit.
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In San Jose, the police and security forces stepped up patrols and stood at almost every door in the Valley Fair Mall and Santa Row to shop on Black Friday.
“Period, we want real accountability,” said Governor Newsom. “We want people to be prosecuted and we want people to feel safe this Christmas season.”
Last week seven Bay Area district attorneys, including Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, announced that they had formed an alliance to prosecute thieves. The stance, they said, would make the cases against the suspects stronger as it moves through the justice system.
To keep his word, Rosen said two robbery suspects caught stealing perfume and colognes from Valley Fair and Oakridge shopping malls last week were given $ 2 million bail.
“It’s really ridiculous for people to do this kind of thing and that people are kind of afraid to leave their homes to go shopping for the holidays,” said Daniela Jimenez, who works at the Stanford Shopping Center. “I think it’s pretty absurd.”
Quiroz said she was grateful for the extra patrols but said she’ll feel more secure seeing the book being thrown at those who get caught.
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“People can still rob without consequences, so it’s sad,” said Quiroz. “Unfortunately you will continue to do it.”