Last week a string of "smash and grab" robberies were staged in several locations in California over the Thanksgiving holiday. In Los Angeles, those that were arrested were freed without bail as part of the city's "zero-bail" policy under District Attorney George Gascon.
The situation with organized theft in the state has been described as an ongoing spree that had shoppers changing their in-person shopping plans. High-end department stores, jewelry shops, and other retail establishments were targeted by groups of people who smashed windows and stole at will.
The Los Angeles Police Department arrested 14 alleged robbers connected to 11 store lootings in which "nearly $340,000" worth of goods were stolen, according to the Daily Mail.
These suspects are back out on the streets again thanks to the city’s "zero bail" policy.
"All the suspects taken into custody are out of custody, either as a result of one juvenile, or the others as a result of bailing out or zero-bail criteria," said LAPD Chief Michel Moore at a Thursday evening news conference.
There has been a substantial uptick in robberies from the 7258 in 2020 to 7542 in 2021, and the year is not yet over.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said it’s time to end this no-bail policy as the pandemic winds down. "We need the help of our criminal justice system, of our judges, of our jailers," he said at the presser.
It ultimately comes down to Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, who will review the cases and evidence therein to pursue criminal charges.
It isn’t solely Los Angeles – other parts of California have felt the crime wave as well. CBS News noted that five suspects walked into a San Jose jewelry store to smash and grab the items in the display cases.
Earlier this year ,the California Supreme Court ordered judges to "consider suspects' ability to pay when they set bail, essentially requiring that indigent defendants be freed unless they are deemed too dangerous to be released awaiting trial."
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