Why some are calling organized retail robbery ‘borderline domestic terrorism’

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Domestic terrorism is now being used to describe what it’s like to experience flash mob retail robbery in the Bay Area.

KRON4’s Haaziq Madyun spoke to the representative of over 200 major retailers in the state, who explains why she views these crimes as terror.

The CEO of the California Retailers Association Rachel Michelin explains why she believes using the phrase, domestic terror is appropriate to describe the lasting impact on someone who was behind the counter working, or in the store shopping, when dozens of thieves suddenly appear without warning.

“Suddenly you’ve got 90 people showing up in cars with crowbars and sledgehammers running into the stores and committing these brazen crimes. I think it’s terrorizing to the people in the stores and those employees,” Michelin said. 

There has always been shoplifting. It comes with the retail territory, but Michelin says California businesses have never experienced anything like this.

“These brazen acts that we’ve seen. These coordinated efforts that we’ve seen up and down the state of California. No one has seen that before.”

Some politicians have been saying that they are going to do something about it.

“Those organized efforts and they are organized and we want to go after those rings,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.

However, it is clear that organized theft rings seem to be leveling up in spite of the tough talk.

“I think we’re still trying to wrap our minds around it. We’re trying to figure what our next steps are, but if we don’t do something bold, if we don’t really work together on solutions, I just want to make sure we stop it. We need to make sure our employees and our customers are safe when they go into a store anywhere in the state of California,” Michelin said.

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