Two men casually walked out of a Los Angeles area TJ Maxx with their arms full of what appears to be stolen goods as brazen shoplifters continue to rampage through California retail stores.
Viral video posted earlier this week shows two men strolling out of a TJ Maxx in the Granada Hills section of the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.
‘That looks great,’ one man is heard saying in the video as he and the other thief head toward the door with the stolen loot.
One of the men appeared to be carrying an oversized duffle bag on his back.
According to police, the shoplifters are taking advantage of a new law that downgrades property theft of less than $950 to a misdemeanor.
‘They didn’t even run out, they walked out,’ Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz told CBS Los Angeles.
Two men casually walked out of a Los Angeles area TJ Maxx with their arms full of what appears to be stolen goods as brazen shoplifters continue to rampage through California retail stores
Viral video shows two men strolling out of a TJ Maxx in the Granada Hills section of the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles
‘That looks great,’ one man is heard saying in the video as he and the other thief heads toward the door with the stolen loot
According to police, the shoplifters are taking advantage of a new law that downgrades property theft of less than $950 to a misdemeanor
The two men were seen driving away in the car circled in the image above
‘And so, that’s sending a message that…the criminals, are winning.’
Sandoz, who is also vice president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, added: ‘If they’re caught, they’re probably given the equivalent of a traffic ticket.
‘So it’s not taken seriously.’
Sandoz cited an incident in which an employee of a Rite Aid in Glassell Park was shot and killed last Thursday morning after he tried to stop two men from stealing a case of beer.
The dead employee was identified as 36-year-old Miguel Penaloza.
Last week, Miguel Penaloza, 36, an employee of a Rite Aid in Glassell Park, was shot and killed after he tried to stop two men from stealing a case of beer
The Los Angeles Police Department released surveillance footage showing the thieves in action last Thursday morning
According to criminal defense attorney Alexandra Kazarian, Penaloza’s death shows that store employees are fearful of confronting shoplifters who might use violence if someone tries to stop them. One of the suspects is seen in the above surveillance image released by the LAPD
The image above shows the Rite Aid retail store in the Glassell Park section of Los Angeles
According to criminal defense attorney Alexandra Kazarian, Penaloza’s death shows that store employees are fearful of confronting shoplifters who might use violence if someone tries to stop them.
‘The employees at TJ Maxx have been told that, in these specific circumstances, it’s not worth it for you to go and physically attack, physically stop people that are walking out with this inventory,’ Kazarian told CBS Los Angeles.
‘Because these businesses have insurance.’
Kazarian also disputed the notion that shoplifters who walk out with piles of goods are not getting punished.
‘People who are stealing giant, giant tote bags, giant backpacks worth of inventory are not getting the same benefit of the people that are stealing food and clothing for their children,’ she said.
No arrests have been made in the Rite Aid shooting. The LAPD released surveillance footage showing the alleged suspects.
‘If you let these criminals think that they can go in and steal merchandise and steal things, what happens when someone tries to stop them?’ Sandoz said.
The LAPD said it is investigating the TJ Maxx incident as well.
A spokesperson for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said: ‘Once officers make an arrest or cite someone for a crime, they will present the case to our office.
‘We make charging decisions accordingly. We do so based on the facts, the totality of the circumstances, and the law.’
A video posted to Instagram earlier this month captured the moment at least 10 people stole loads of designer bags from Neiman Marcus in San Francisco and fled undeterred
Police are still investigating the incident and the suspects already were gone by the time they arrived
Witnesses told KTVU that the store was about to close when the suspects came in and smashed display cases before nabbing the goods and leaving
Shoplifting cases are all too common in San Francisco, where charges of property theft less than $950 in value was downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor in 2014
The incident at TJ Maxx is the latest high-profile robbery of a popular retailer in the Golden State.
Earlier this month, video emerged on social media showing shoplifters brazenly making off with stolen goods after ransacking a local Neiman Marcus store in the Union Square section of San Francisco.
At least 10 people are seen in the video with armfuls of designer goods and then fleeing the luxury department store Neiman Marcus – without anyone trying to stop them.
The footage reveals the shoplifters leaving the Union Square store, each carrying bags of stolen items with the security tags still dangling off of them.
The perpetrators then ran in different directions, with a few speeding away from the scene in a white sedan.
One person watching says, ‘They can’t do anything,’ perhaps referring to security at Neiman Marcus.
Authorities said that an estimated tens of thousands of dollars worth of items were stolen.
Shoplifting cases are all too common in San Francisco, where charges of property theft less than $950 in value was downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor in 2014 – meaning that store staff and security do not pursue or stop thieves who have taken anything worth less than $1,000.
The person who posted the video wrote a message demanding San Francisco crackdown on shoplifters and called for District Attorney of San Francisco Chesa Boudin to be removed from office.
‘Everyone in the city is tired of this so please sign the recall petition to oust Chesa Boudin now! Crime is legal basically and allowed and tolerated due to policies put in place and supported by all our supervisors and mayor and DA,’ Instagram user sfstreets415, whose bio reads, ‘Asian photographer and crime reporter,’ wrote.
The petition was first launched in March to recall Boudin, who has come under fire in recent years, along with the city’s leadership, for allegedly not doing enough to combat San Francisco’s shoplifting problem.
The city’s surge in such incidents arose almost immediately after the passage of Proposition 47, a ballot referendum known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act that downgraded the theft of property less than $950 in value from a felony charge to a misdemeanor.
The Neiman Marcus video comes less than a month after another shameless shoplifting case was caught on camera and went viral online.
The footage posted on Twitter by ABC7 Reporter Lyanne Melendez was filmed on June 14 and reveals the moment a brazen robber filled a garbage bag with products at a San Francisco Walgreens and bicycled out of the store after no one tried to stop him.
The Neiman Marcus video surfaced less than a month after another shameless shoplifting case was caught on camera. Footage showed a brazen robber, on his bicycle, as he filled a garbage bag with products at a San Francisco Walgreens and bicycled out of the store – as a bystander and security guard watch. The shoplifter has been identified as Jean Lugo-Romero
The man rode his bike to the store, filled a garbage bag with stolen goods and rode away
According to KTVU, San Francisco’s District Attorney’s Office has since filed formal charges against the perpetrator, Jean Lugo Romero, for the incident as well as other acts of commercial shoplifting and robbery at various Walgreens and CVS stores throughout the city.
The Walgreens scene followed the closing of 17 San Francisco Walgreens locations due to shoplifting cases, where theft in the pharmaceutical chain’s 53 remaining stores is four times the average for stores elsewhere in the country, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
One Walgreens reportedly loses $1,000 a day to shoplifters, the news outlet adds.
Across the city, 18 Walgreens stores saw 94 shoplifting incidents between September 1 and December 31, 2020, according to data compiled by the San Francisco Police Department and obtained by news outlet Mission Local.
Walgreens also spends 35 times more on security guards in the city than elsewhere, Jason Cunningham, regional vice president for pharmacy and retail operations in California and Hawaii, said at a hearing on retail crimes held in May by Boudin and Ahsha Safaí, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and retailers, police and probation departments.