retail robbery

Newsom on Retail Robberies: ‘These People Need to Be Held to Account'

NBC Universal, Inc. Local and state leaders are promising swift action to shut the crime rings down after several retail thefts in the Bay Area. Jean Elle reports.

The rash of recent retail robberies across the Bay Area has captured many people's attention, including the governor.

"I'm not the mayor of California, but I was a mayor, and I know when things like this happen, mayors have to step up," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

On Friday night in San Francisco's Union Square, nine stores were robbed or vandalized, including Louis Vuitton, YSL and Alexander McQueen.

Police said there were more than a dozen suspects involved. Police have made eight arrests.

"These people need to be held to account," Newsom said. "We need to investigate these crimes. We need to break up these crime rings. We need to make an example out of these folks."

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin agrees.

The rash of recent retail robberies across the Bay Area has captured many people's attention, including the San Francisco DA.

"If you come to San Francisco and you commit crimes, there will be consequences," he said.

But some have called Boudin part of the problem, accusing him of being slow to prosecute and soft on crime, making the city a more attractive target for thieves. That's an accusation he denies.

"This has nothing to do with my policies and everything to do with the challenges we as a country are facing," Boudin said.

Things were far from back to normal at Union Square on Monday.

Louis Vuitton has reopened but strictly by appointment only. Other luxury brands have boarded up their stores or are modifying their hours and security measures.
The city is also looking at other options, including possibly changing the rules of the road to make it harder for thieves to park so close to stores.