KTXL Fox40 Sacramento
“I wouldn’t even characterize that as organized crime, that was domestic terrorism,” said Rachel Michelin, the president of the California Retailers Association.
Michelin said as organized crime in California continues to rise, law enforcement, retailers, and state and local leaders must come together on solutions, including potentially strengthening the laws against organized retail crime.
The association is also requesting an expansion of the state’s Organized Retail Crime Task Forces, which was relaunched in July.
“Some of these solutions may be uncomfortable,” Michelin said. “We’re going to have those uncomfortable conversations and have a look at some of the laws on the books, obviously, they aren’t working.”
But a lot of the solutions are not short-term or immediate.
“My fear is that we will continue to see these types of brazen criminal activities happening across the state of California,” Michelin said.
The Mercury News
“I think we’re seeing more and more use of social media that can coordinate these brazen crimes,” Michelin said. “In addition, we’re seeing more and more of these products showing up on online marketplaces.”
Michelin said the San Francisco and Oakland areas suffer the second-highest amount of losses to organized retail crime in the country, a figure she put at about $3.6 billion. Along with it, she said, came $275 million in lost sales tax revenue to local municipalities and the state.
She said that more must be done to hold thieves responsible and that people “must start seeing consequences.”