Decriminalizing Theft Explains Shoplifting Wave in California

Cindy Drukier
By Cindy Drukier
November 27, 2021The Nation Speaks

There’s been a brazen rash of organized looting in California in recent days, gangs of thieves in ski masks, swarming luxury shopping areas, smashing into stores with hammers and crowbars, loading up and taking off in a fleet of getaway cars. 

Mass retail theft isn’t new. It’s forced Walgreens to close 10 stores in the San Francisco area in the last two years. And now it plans to close another five. A company spokesperson told SFGate that the chain spends 46 times more on security in San Francisco compared to the chain average. 

So what is going on? Some point to progressive policies like California’s Prop 47, which makes theft of goods under $950 a misdemeanor, effectively decriminalizing robbery. 

With us to make some sense of what is happening, and more importantly, why, is Wilford Reilly, a professor of political science at Kentucky State University and author of “Hate Crime Hoax” and “Taboo: Ten Facts You Can’t Talk About.”

Watch the full episode on EpochTV.


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