In the state of California, shoplifting is described as the act of entering an open business and intending to take items that total less than $950. In the past, what was considered shoplifting, was actually identified as burglary in the eyes of the law. This meant that prosecutors could charge it as a felony offense. Nowadays, shoplifting is its own thing and is a misdemeanor offense.
As a misdemeanor offense, a person being charged with shoplifting can face no more than 6 months in jail, a fine no larger than $1,000, or some combination of both. However, if a person has been charged with certain convictions in the past, the shoplifting offense could be charged as a felony instead of a misdemeanor. This would carry much steeper penalties.
In Santa Ana, California, shoplifters who are emboldened by the lack of law enforcement in their state have taken shoplifting to an entirely new level. In the video below, a shoplifter can be seen boldly walking behind the drug counter and filling his arms with prescription drugs. The pharmacists panic but are unable to stop the large, black male, who casually walks out from behind the counter and heads for the exit. It’s almost as if he knows he can’t be touched by employees or law enforcement.
You can hear the criminal tell the manager of the pharmacy to “move,” as he obliges and then turns to the pharmacists, telling them, “Call 911, please.”
At least he was wearing a mask—right? Because protecting the workers was likely his top priority.
Thanks to the state of California’s lax policy on shoplifters, San Fransicso residents are going to have to start finding new ways to get their prescriptions filled or to pick up a pain reliever or personal hygiene products, as Walgreens will be closing five more stores in the crime-ridden city that Nancy Pelosi calls home.
WFB reports – “Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso told SFGate. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”
Cops and prosecutors have blamed the retail crime surge on lightened sentencing. A 2014 city referendum reduced the charges for stealing goods worth less than $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor. Under the leadership of progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin (D.), the city in Jan. 2020 abolished cash bail.
Boudin is the son of Weather Underground members David Gilbert and Kathy Boudin, who were convicted for murdering two police officers and one security guard in a 1981 armored vehicle robbery. Kathy Boudin was released from prison in 2003 after serving a 20-year sentence for felony murder. Disgraced former New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) commuted Gilbert’s sentence as one of his last actions in office, reducing the time served by 35 years. Gilbert is eligible to seek parole as of this month.
In June, we shared an incredible video showing a shoplifter filling a large garbage bag with items he was stealing from a Walgreens store as a customer and security guard stood back and watched.
Watch the incredible scene here:
According to the Independent – Walgreens says petty theft in the city has gotten so out of control that it’s had to close 17 of its stores. CVS has told its employees not to intervene because the thieves so often attack them, calling San Francisco “one of the epicenters of organized retail crime.”
“We’ve had incidents where our security officers are assaulted on a pretty regular basis in San Francisco,” Brendan Dugan, head of CVS’ retail crime division, said at a 13 May hearing with city officials, according to a New York Times report.
Police agree that the stealing has become endemic.
“What happened in that Walgreens has been going on in that city for quite a while,” San Francisco police Lt. Tracy McCray said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday.
“If you steal below $950, you get a citation, and you just get to walk away, and if you don’t show up to court, guess what?” McCray said. “Maybe you get a bench warrant, or maybe they even toss that before it even gets to that point.”