retail robbery

Retail Robberies Part of Larger Scheme? South Bay Leaders Investigating

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Authorities in the South Bay are trying to figure out if recent retail robberies are part of a larger, possibly nationwide, network of crime.

The latest incident in the area happened Tuesday. Police say the Macy's store at Oakridge Mall and the Macy's at Valley Fair Mall were targeted by two men who stole about $2,000 in merchandise at Oakridge but later were caught with similar goods and arrested at Valley Fair.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and assistant San Jose police Chief Paul Joseph held a news conference Wednesday, vowing to stop the thefts.

"Today, I’m releasing a proposal for council consideration with several colleagues for investment in technology, including license plate readers," Liccardo said.

NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai spoke to Ben Dugan, president of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail, about the latest retail robberies going on, not only in the Bay Area, but the entire state.

Joseph supported the use of license plate readers.

"I think license plate readers are a huge benefit to us, not just for organized retail crime but for any type of crime," he said.

Rosen said he agrees with analysis that the local retail robberies are part of a much bigger system.

"They’re paying the individuals to do the robberies," he said. "They collect the goods, fence them and move them to other parts of the country."

Leaders said they're concerned about copycat crimes, which might happen more spontaneously. They said that's one of the reasons why they want to move fast and hard at shopping centers and in the courts.

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