As the crime rate continues to tick upward in communities across the United States, many citizens are increasingly worried about organized bands of looters attacking businesses and homes in Los Angeles, California, and elsewhere.
In a statement this week, former President Donald Trump called on the National Guard to respond to the alarming rise in so-called smash-and-grab robberies.
“It is all not even believable”
Looters have increasingly targeted locations in primarily Democratic-led cities where they have raided stores and made off with thousands of dollars worth of goods, prompting some business owners to make tough decisions.
In San Francisco, a group stole roughly $200,000 worth of merchandise from a Nordstrom store. Thieves in Chicago pillaged a Louis Vuitton location and left with about $120,000 in stolen goods.
For his part, Trump campaigned on a law-and-order message that remained at the forefront of his term in the White House.
Although he received plenty of criticism from progressives over his threat to send in the military to quell violence on the streets last year, he asserted this week that such a response is now needed in the face of a rising crime rate.
“If Democrats don’t immediately stop smash-and-grab robberies, which are taking place in their cities, the National Guard must be called out,” the former president said, according to the Washington Examiner. “Large numbers of stores are leaving San Francisco and other cities. Some chains are closing most of their stores, it is all not even believable.”
“These are not victimless crimes”
While some looting was reported during last year’s wave of public protests, it has now become almost routine in certain parts of the country.
Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail President Ben Dugan argued that the problem has “evolved” since its roots in the demonstrations that erupted nationwide during the summer of 2020.
Rachel Michelin, who serves as president of the California Retailers Association, added that business owners and staff are now witnessing a “level of violence” unlike anything they have seen before.
While the Biden administration seeks to place much of the blame on the impact of COVID-19, even some progressives are beginning to acknowledge that prosecutors are going too easy on criminals.
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, for instance, addressed the matter in a recent statement, asserting: “If people are breaking in, people stealing your property, they need to be arrested. Police need to arrest them. Prosecutors need to prosecute them. Judges need to hold people accountable for breaking the law. These are not victimless crimes, and I have no empathy for these criminal elements.”