‘No sympathy or empathy’: Gov. Newsom condemns retail theft rings, vows ‘exponential’ funding for problem – KCRA Sacramento

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said he had “no sympathy or empathy” for people involved in recent organized retail thefts in the San Francisco Bay Area that have made national headlines. He said he planned to include an “exponential level of support” in his upcoming budget to help cities address retail theft rings and other quality of life issues. But Newsom did not detail what he planned to propose and a spokesperson for the governor told KCRA 3 that the office did not have new numbers to share yet. “We want people prosecuted and we want people to feel safe,” Newsom told reporters from a vaccine clinic in the Bay Area to promote COVID-19 booster shots. “They must be held to account.” | MORE | Gov. Newsom: California has improved COVID-19 case numbers but surge threat remainsOn Friday, thieves smashed windows and looted the Louis Vuitton store as well as Burberry, Bloomingdale’s and Yves Saint Laurent in San Francisco’s Union Square. San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the next day that the city would restrict access to cars in the area.Also on Saturday, about 80 people ransacked a Nordstrom’s in Walnut Creek, authorities said. Newsom said the two brazen heists in the Bay Area over the weekend were contributing to “stealing a sense of place and confidence.” | VIDEO BELOW | Gov. Newsom vows ‘exponential’ increase in funding to address retail theftsIn response to previous smash-and-grabs, Newsom signed a law in July that reestablished the crime of organized retail theft. The law allows prosecutors to charge the crime as a misdemeanor or a felony. That same month, Newsom reconstituted a California Highway Patrol task force focused on organized retail theft and that helps law enforcement agencies in counties it identifies as having high property crime rates.Newsom said Monday that the state is assisting in investigations of retail thefts with expertise, training and data. CHP is also putting more resources in place in and around large retail centers in the Bay Area, he said. But Newsom said he was “not the mayor of California” and mayors also needed to “step up.” “Gotta be tough on this,” he said. –The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday said he had “no sympathy or empathy” for people involved in recent organized retail thefts in the San Francisco Bay Area that have made national headlines.

He said he planned to include an “exponential level of support” in his upcoming budget to help cities address retail theft rings and other quality of life issues.

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But Newsom did not detail what he planned to propose and a spokesperson for the governor told KCRA 3 that the office did not have new numbers to share yet.

“We want people prosecuted and we want people to feel safe,” Newsom told reporters from a vaccine clinic in the Bay Area to promote COVID-19 booster shots. “They must be held to account.”

| MORE | Gov. Newsom: California has improved COVID-19 case numbers but surge threat remains

On Friday, thieves smashed windows and looted the Louis Vuitton store as well as Burberry, Bloomingdale’s and Yves Saint Laurent in San Francisco’s Union Square. San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the next day that the city would restrict access to cars in the area.

Also on Saturday, about 80 people ransacked a Nordstrom’s in Walnut Creek, authorities said.

Newsom said the two brazen heists in the Bay Area over the weekend were contributing to “stealing a sense of place and confidence.”

| VIDEO BELOW | Gov. Newsom vows ‘exponential’ increase in funding to address retail thefts

In response to previous smash-and-grabs, Newsom signed a law in July that reestablished the crime of organized retail theft. The law allows prosecutors to charge the crime as a misdemeanor or a felony.

That same month, Newsom reconstituted a California Highway Patrol task force focused on organized retail theft and that helps law enforcement agencies in counties it identifies as having high property crime rates.

Newsom said Monday that the state is assisting in investigations of retail thefts with expertise, training and data.

CHP is also putting more resources in place in and around large retail centers in the Bay Area, he said.

But Newsom said he was “not the mayor of California” and mayors also needed to “step up.”

“Gotta be tough on this,” he said.

–The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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