SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Announcing the "Real Public Safety” plan, Governor Gavin Newsom is teaming with local law enforcement to crack down on crime, following a rash of retail robberies across California.
On Tuesday night at Plaza Bonita Mall, National City police say two suspects did a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry kiosk in the mall. Shoppers were terrified after hearing the broken glass smashed with a hammer.
"We saw people running. We saw some of the stores closing down,” said shopper Vernice Ramirez.
Newsom's plan includes 3 crime prevention areas:
- Bolstering local law enforcement response
- Ensuring prosecutors hold perpetrators accountable
- Getting guns and drugs off our streets
"These organized retail gangs, these organized retail mobs are not only increasing and heightening the anxiety that people are feeling but more importantly, in a way it has a profound impact on our feeling of safety,” Newsom said.
$255 million in grants will go to local law enforcement over the next 3 years to increase their presence at retail locations. The California Highway Patrol's smash-and-grab enforcement unit will up its patrols. The plan provides grants for small businesses, who are victims of smash-and-grabs and $30 million in grants for local prosecutors.
"Providing resources to DAs to advance these efforts in the investigation and the prosecution as well,” Newsom said.
In response San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan released a statement:
"In San Diego, we've been proactively holding organized retail theft rings accountable since the beginning of last year when we saw this destructive crime trend begin. Working closely with the CHP and our local law enforcement we continue to ramp up those efforts. We welcome increased support from the state in this area to protect local businesses and their employees and keep our community safe."
California Attorney General Rob Bonta says the new plan cracks down on violent crimes that include firearms.
“The new resources and funding announced today are a real game changer. The real public safety plan provides the DOJ with additional funding to bolster our existing efforts to taking down the perpetrators at the top of these crime rings and shutting down the pipeline of stolen merchandise, freezing out the illicit market and ensuring serious criminals face serious consequences,” Bonta said.
A statement from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department says:
“It has not had any issues with retail thefts (Smash and Grabs). However, our Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) is monitoring for any intelligence related to potential retail thefts in Sheriff's jurisdiction. We also share this information with our law enforcement partners. We join all law enforcement agencies in the county in remaining vigilant over the holidays. The Sheriff's Department is always ready to respond to any emergency, including retail thefts. We support the California Highway Patrol's efforts to address retail thefts and look forward to working with them.”
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