Gavin Newsom tells California mayors to “step up” against retail theft

California Governor Gavin Newsom did not speak properly Tuesday while talking about a recent rash of retail thefts in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“They are not just stealing people’s products and affecting their livelihoods, they are stealing a sense of space and self-confidence,” Newsom said, according to CBS Local, Monday from a vaccine clinic.

“That’s why you have to take it seriously,” he continued. “I’m not the mayor of California. But I was the mayor. And I know that when things like this happen, the mayors have to step in. It’s not an accusation. It’s not a cheap shot.”

Newsom said the state “will be more aggressive … to help support cities and prosecute people.”

He said he has “no empathy, no sympathy for these people, and they must be held accountable.”

Newsom also added that his own stores had been robbed at least three times in the past year.

“We need to break up these crime rings, and we need to set an example out of these people,” Newsom said, according to the Sacramento Bee. “We can not allow this to continue.”

Newsom explained that the New Year’s budget will include significant funds for cities to combat retail theft, but offered no further details.

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said Tuesday that he charged nine people with crimes related to the series of thefts.

“These are not petty thefts,” Boudin said. “This is not a misdemeanor. This is gross misconduct.”

Shoplifting, he added, is a major problem around the country and not just a problem in San Francisco.

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