Former chief of police: Smash and grab robberies won’t be stopped. If anything, get ready for a new crime wave.



Smash and grab robberies can’t be stopped per a former chief of police.

He’s right. Here’s why.


Headline: California Flash Mob Robbers Won’t Be Stopped, Will Spread, Says Ex-Chief.

A former Philadelphia police commissioner predicted Friday that mass robbery crews would spread out across the country, given their success in a recent spate of California attacks on retailers. His prediction proved correct on Black Friday.

Charles Ramsey, the ex-Philadelphia commissioner, said there’s “no question” that the trend will occur elsewhere.

“This is something now that I really unfortunately think is going to spread,” Ramsey told CNN on Thursday. “Right now it’s in California, but it will spread, there’s no question about it,” Deadline.

Impact on Shopping-Employees-Violence

CNN suggests that the robberies will have an impact on retail shopping. Why would shoppers put themselves at risk?

Best Buy CEO Corie Barryspeaking to CNBC a few days before the Twin Cities stores were hit, said that she worries the trend could drive workers out of the industry altogether, BizJournals.

A security guard has died after he was shot while he protected a San Francisco Bay Area television news crew covering a smash-and-grab theft, part of a rash of organized retail crime in the region, CBS News.

And true to Chief Ramsey’s predictions, smash and grab robberies are now happening throughout the country, Fox News.

Why Can’t They be Stopped?

Throughout my justice career, I interviewed hundreds of criminal offenders for radio and television shows plus many additional interviews to understand the criminal mind. I once sat with hundreds of offenders charged with homicide and other violent crimes to gather insights for a crime summit.

First, criminals are not stupid. They understand what’s happening throughout the country as well as their own communities. They believe that these are property crimes and they know that law enforcement has restrictions as to what they will (or can) do regarding property crimes.

Yes, I know that these are robberies (i.e., force or threat of force), but will they be prosecuted as robberies? Probably not. How can you prove that the person apprehended used force or threat of force when all have face coverings?

The probable reality is that the justice system will probably treat these events as property crimes.

There are legislatures and prosecutors and advocates that have repeatedly told their communities that property crimes need to be downgraded or not prosecuted.

Offenders know that law enforcement is reducing proactivity; officers are not being aggressive as they once were. They get it that cops won’t (can’t) shoot property offenders. They know that officers won’t chase them because of restrictions on vehicle pursuits.

The intense media coverage of law enforcement and the use of force has led to an endless array of restrictions on cops. We’ve said that we want guardians, not warriors. Well, welcome to our new reality.

Criminals have always sought out easy and vulnerable targets which is why the disabled and a variety of groups have much higher victimization rates.

Thousands of cops are leaving the job per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stops are down. Arrests are plummeting. The incarcerated population is dropping. Jurisdictions are imposing no bail requirements.

We Are Telling Criminals That There Are Few Consequences

The message? Criminals see less enforcement and fewer consequences. Besides, they know that overburdened, overstretched cops can’t cope with scores of smash and grab robbers.

Think about the allotment of police officers on any given shift. Most are spread over a large area and are responding to calls for assistance.

Eighty offenders arriving in vehicles running into a store and stealing high-end goods takes about a minute-possibly two. By the time police are dispatched and arrive, they are already too late.

But even if they arrived in time to confront, what would they do? They can’t chase. They can’t shoot. Justice reformers want limits on property crimes leaving officers in a large number of jurisdictions with very limited options.


We are reaping the rewards of what society demanded in the wake of the endlessly negative media coverage of law enforcement. Yes, some of that coverage was deserved. The enforcement of laws must apply to all equally.

Regardless, we have record levels of violence and fear of crime plus a ton of cops leaving. Advocates demand that property crimes be downgraded.

As stated, criminal offenders are not stupid. They fully understand the world around them. They get it that the justice system can be powerless to stop them.

Violence is increasing in cities because we are changing the response to crime and telling offenders that accountability is reduced (or over) for a wide array of illegal acts. No, all of this doesn’t apply to all jurisdictions, just those with rising crime and violence.

Welcome to your new reality.

Pelosi’s police-defunded San Fran overrun with mass smash-and-grab robberies as far-left DA protects criminals

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- According to reports, police are looking for dozens of suspects after a series of brazen thefts on Friday, November 19th and Saturday, November 20th in the Bay Area that targeted high-end retailers in large-scale smash-and-grab robberies.

On Sunday, November 21st, Walnut Creek police said that three people were arrested, including one who was in possession of a firearm, after an organized theft involving nearly 80 people at a Nordstrom store in the city’s downtown shortly before 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 20th.

Police said that Nordstrom employees began calling 911 when dozens of people stormed the store and immediately stole merchandise. Two employees were assaulted and one was pepper-sprayed. Police have since reviewed surveillance to identify additional suspects.

Videos posted to social media show some of the suspects fleeing the scene in cars parked outside the store.

Other Bay Area cities have also been targeted in what police are saying are coordinated group thefts, including at numerous high-end stores in San Francisco on Friday, November 19th and at Iceberg Diamonds, a jewelry store inside the Sun Valley Mall in Concord on November 15th. 

At a news conference on Saturday, November 20th, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said:

“We will do what we need to do to put an end to this madness.”

Scott said police arrested six men and two women described as young adults in connection with the thefts from November 19th and recovered two guns and thousands of dollars in merchandise.

Scott added that he is confident more arrests will be made and that some of the people suspected in the thefts are “familiar” to the police department.

Scott said that during a four-hour window starting Friday, November 19th at 8 p.m., thieves burglarized Louis Vuitton on Union Square, Burberry and Bloomingdale’s in the Westfield Mall, Yves Saint Laurent on Geary Street, Walgreens on Market Street, and multiple cannabis dispensaries across the city. Scott said in a statement:

“We take this personally. This is our city. We are not going to allow people to come in and continue to do this in our city.”

Concord police released a video showing nine people entering Iceberg Diamonds jewelry store in the Sun Valley Mall with hammers and smashing glass displays to steal items. The department said in a news release:

“Employees tried to intervene and we kept back by the hammer wielding criminals. The suspects got away before police arrived.”

In Hayward, looters struck again on the evening of November 21st with smash-and-grab thieves hitting the Southland Mall and suspects taking merchandise from a Lululemon store in San Jose. Hayward police said they responded around 5:30 p.m. to multiple calls from stores in Southland Mall.

Witnesses said a large mob of people caused a huge disturbance inside the mall, with some briefly taking over a jewelry store. Witnesses described some 40 to 50 looters wielding hammers and other tools, breaking glass cases and quickly feeling from Sam’s Jewelers.

Witnesses said this was the tail end of a much scarier and bigger scene. One witness who declined to identify themselves, said:

“I would say at least 30 to 40 [people] from what I saw. But then after the main group of kids rushed out, we saw 15 to 20 scattering, some even came back in.”

Meanwhile in San Jose, police said that at approximately 6:30 p.m. on November 21st, a group of suspects entered the Lululemon store in Santana Row and took merchandise. They fled prior to police arriving. It marked the third straight day a large mob of robbers have gone after retailers in the Bay Area.

City leaders and shoppers stated that they are worried about the growing trend of mass robberies around the Bay Area as police continue to look for the majority of the 80 or so suspects responsible for the looting. Mohini Soodan, a regular customer at Nordstrom in Walnut Creek, said:

“I hope this doesn’t happen because this is not safe for the community and all of us want to be in a safer neighborhood. We have family around.”

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. 

And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

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Walgreens closing five more San Francisco stores due to widespread and unprosecuted theft

October 15th, 2021

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– On Tuesday, October 12th, Walgreens announced that they will be closing yet another five stores in San Francisco, California due to constant thefts that have plagued the locations, and the rest of the city for that matter. 

A Walgreens spokesperson released a statement to FOX Business which read in part:

“Due to ongoing organized retail crime, we have made the difficult decision to close five stores across San Francisco,”

They went on to say:

“Each store will transfer prescriptions to a nearby Walgreens location within a mile radius and we expect to place the stores’ team members in other nearby locations.”

The spokesperson continued, saying:

“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,”

They then added:

“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.”

Over the course of the next several weeks, the Walgreens locations at 2250 Ocean Ave, 4645 Mission Street, 745 Clement Street, 300 Gough Street and 3400 Cesar Chavez Street will close their doors for good.

This is not the first time Walgreens has had to close down some of their locations in San Francisco due to brazen and consistent shoplifting. 

In May, Law Enforcement Today reported that Walgreens was forced to close down 17 of their locations for the very same reason over the last five years.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, shoplifting did decrease during the coronavirus pandemic, but police also told the news outlet that “incidents are often underreported and have become more violent and brazen.”

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí told the San Francisco Chronicle that the situation is “out of control,” adding:

“People are scared to go into these stores — seniors, people with disabilities, children. It’s just happening brazenly.”

In 2020, the city’s politicians chose to defund the police $120 million, however now they are proposing legislation that will allow officers to act as security guards in order to help deter the blatant shoplifting taking place across the city.  
Here is that complete story that Law Enforcement Today recently brought you. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Legislation is being proposed in San Francisco that would allow for sheriff’s deputies to work as added security at retail stores throughout the city, a measure being entertained with the ongoing organized retail theft that has been taking place in recent months.


As we’ve previously reported here at Law Enforcement Today, retail theft in San Francisco has become a serious problem since the summer of 2021 – instances of retail theft have become all the more brazen and are posing risks of smaller stores possibly closing due to the impact of losses.

In San Francisco, currently only police officers are allowed to obtain overtime by picking up extra shifts posted at retail stores working as security – but proposed legislation would allow for sheriff’s deputies to do the same, if passed.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai, who is proposing the legislation, said that various other retailers refer to San Francisco as being “the epicenter” of retail theft in the country:

“We heard from retailers that San Francisco is the epicenter of organized retail crime in the United States, in their opinion.”

Safai also added that the way his legislation would work would impose no costs to taxpayers, explaining that retail outlets would directly contract with the sheriff’s department to organize compensation for the deputies who’d opt-in for these overtime opportunities:

“Essentially a private entity or an event contacts the city, in this situation, the sheriff department or police department and they would say they are going to pay for these services so they contract with the city.”


Sheriff Paul Miyamoto noted that if the legislation passes, his hope that the mere presence of deputies would make it so would-be offenders wouldn’t even consider attempting to shoplift:

“Our intent isn’t to go out and make a lot of arrests, our intent is to deter people from even thinking about committing the crime in the first place.”

This legislation will be further discussed and voted on by the Board of Supervisors as early as this upcoming November.

As mentioned earlier, we at Law Enforcement Today have previously reported on the impact of organized retail theft in San Francisco. Earlier in September, the mayor and chief of police announced new strategies they’ll be employing to also curb said criminal activity.

Here’s that previous report.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In response to the uptick and brazenness of retail theft in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed, along with San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott, announced a new initiative to address retail theft that has been impacting businesses all over the city.


Over the past summer, numerous videos and reports of theft occurring in San Francisco wound up going viral. One incident from July involved numerous suspects shoplifting dozens of handbags from a Neiman Marcus in San Francisco’s Union Square.

Video was captured from the July 5th shoplifting incident, showing multiple suspects running out of the Neiman Marcus with stolen goods in hand.


Perhaps one of the more brazen instances of shoplifting caught on camera in San Francisco over the summer occurred at the Walgreens back in June.

The video in question depicted a male suspect bring a bicycle and a garbage bag inside of the Walgreens and start filling up the garbage bag in full view of customers and employees – seemingly unbothered by his crimes being filmed on cellphones by onlookers.

Mayor Breed and Police Chief Scott acknowledged the impact of these crimes, as well as the videos of them, with Chief Scott saying that because of the brazenness of these acts, “people then start fearing crime, even if they haven’t been victimized.”

Under the newly announced organized retail theft initiative, San Francisco Police and the city will rollout the following:

  • San Francisco Police will expand their retail crime unit from 2 to 6 full-time investigators
  • Expanding San Francisco’s ambassador program from 8 to 25 employees
  • Updated online crime reporting features where tipsters can include a suspect description through the online form

Chief Scott said that instances of retail theft seem to be getting under reported as well, so authorities hope that improving reporting in conjunction with response efforts will help curb these sorts of offenses.

The police chief said that in the meantime, locals will have to employ “the eye test” while out about their business, to see whether things are changing through increased efforts:

“In the meantime, a lot of it is the eye test. If you are out shopping and doing what you do in the city, and you’re seeing these things occur, we want you to see less of it, we don’t want you to see it all!”

Margaret O’Leary, the owner of the 12-store chain of the same namesake, remarked that her store location on Fillmore Street in San Francisco had never been robbed in 20 years – until this past year, where it has been robbed three times.

Video surveillance captured during one of the robberies show multiple suspects running off with roughly $10,000 worth of merchandise in a matter of seconds.

O’Leary says that she’s had to limit visible inventory in the store to reduce the potential impact if robbed again:

“It looks like I’m going out of business, but this is what I have to do.”

O’Leary says that there have been no arrests in any of the three instances her store location was robbed, and notes that some of her employees are both frightened and have quit over the flagrant robberies:

“My employees are scared, some of them have actually quit.”

O’Leary added that the store in San Francisco is the only one that has ever been robbed out of the 12 total locations:

“Not in Mill Valley, not in Berkeley, not in Palo Alto, just Fillmore Street.”

The store owner has employed new anti-theft methods for the Fillmore Street location, such as keeping the entry locked and only opened for knocking customers, placing hangers backwards on clothes racks to make it harder to quickly yank items, and also providing employees with panic buttons.

However, O’Leary says that if the thefts continue at the store location, she’ll be forced to shut down the Fillmore Street store.


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