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San Jose Spends COVID Aid to Fight Flash Mob Robberies

San Jose Spends COVID Aid to Fight Flash Mob Robberies

Los Angeles officials are now rethinking the wisdom of its COVID-era “no bail” policy.

In a move that indicates that COVID may be dropping in political priorities, San Jose officials are diverting funds provided for pandemic response in an effort to counter this criminal activity.

The San Jose, Calif., city council has approved spending a portion of COVID-19 pandemic funds in an effort to combat smash-and-grab robberies in the Bay Area, according to CBS affiliate KPIX.

The city council unanimously voted to allocate $250,000 of pandemic funds toward license plate readers (LPRs).

The $250,000 came from the $18.3 million the city received from the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act, according to KPIX.

Mayor Sam Liccardo cited incidents across the state, including downtown San Jose, as the reason for the move.

In a memo, Liccardo wrote the LPRs would “enable SJPD to better deter and make arrests in armed ‘smash-mob’ burglaries and robberies, auto thefts, and drive-by shootings.” The memo stated that data collected from the LPRs would not be shared with federal immigration authorities.

“Where culprits are attempting to evade the license plate readers, all the better because that’s a very clear warning, when we see folks covering their license plates, that those are drivers that should be pulled over,” said Liccardo.

According to San Jose Police Asst. Chief Paul Joseph, the exact model of the LPR system has not yet been decided. It would likely be a stationary unit that can be moved to various crime hotspots around the city.

“We absolutely are going to take into account crime all throughout the city, and not just in any one particular spot,” said Joseph.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department says it has made more than a dozen arrests after a series of flash mob robberies across the city in recent weeks where nearly $340,000 worth of merchandise was stolen.

However, all are now out of custody due to COVID-era policy priorities.

Fourteen people were arrested in connection with 11 brazen robberies between Nov. 18 and 28, and all are out of custody, police Chief Michel Moore said. Most bailed out or met no-bail criteria, and one is a juvenile, he said.

Moore added that Los Angeles, and California, saw a “rash” of the smash-and-grab crimes surrounding the Thanksgiving and Black Friday holidays. The crimes were all similar in nature, characterized by multiple suspects working together, destruction of property, assault on store employees, and caravans of vehicles parking close to high-end retail stores.

Only now are city officials rethinking the “no bail” policy.

At a joint news conference, both Moore and Mayor Eric Garcetti called for an end to a no-bail policy for some defendants aimed at reducing overcrowding at Los Angeles County jails during the coronavirus pandemic.

Garcetti said with the pandemic easing, it’s time to make room again in lockups for criminals who commit violent acts and put store employees in danger.

“We need the help of our criminal justice system, of our judges, of our jailers,” Garcetti said.

“We have opened up a lot of the city because we’re in a better place with COVID. We should be able to also open up our jails, and we should be able to have judges that put people behind those bars.”

A statewide policy of imposing $0 bail for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies ended last year, but it was kept in place within the LA County Superior Court system.

Better late than never!


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2smartforlibs | December 4, 2021 at 4:17 pm

No need to enforce the law. Just bribe.

    Black mobs are looting the streets, and white mobs are looting in Washington DC.

      Fine, people care about violent crime way more than they ever will about our ideological pursuits. Let Dem cities burn, they voted for their local government, and I am sure they are thrilled with their virtue-signalling results. If they are not, they can vote for better leaders. In the meantime, I care pretty much zero-much what evils Dems create, perpetuate, and demand to keep their voting bloc.

      These crazy lily-white racist elitists are not shy about their confidence that they can “manage” my life better than I can. I’m really not okay with that. Not at all, not even one tiny bit.

      Gropey Slow Joe’s abysmal ratings are a warning.

        Fuzzy, the “crazy lily-white racist elitists” are just tools – they’d be the first ones purged if the communists took over. In ever other regard, they’re as dumb as Bette Midler or Alexandra Obnoxious-Cortez.

        The real problem is are the criminals and traitors inside our government: the ones we don’t see: like Comey, Wrays, the Brennans, the GOPe rats who are bribed by the left and try to gaslight the base.

        Biden’s ratings don’t mean a thing: the left and the GOPe just jammed a multi-trillion dollar time bomb upon us. It’s as insidious as Obamacare. They don’t care if they lose the House in 2022: with voting machine fraud and mail-in ballot fraud so rampant, they’ll get it back in 2024.

        The big picture is we’re toast.

    Just shoot the looters. Legalize it.

License plate readers are worthless for this. All it will do is tell you that a car that was jacked was used in the robbery. The punks will just start jacking more cars. That’s what they do in Chicago. On the other hand license plate readers are very effective for people driving their own cars, like, say, the unvaccinated going about their business instead of being locked in like the totalitarians would prefer.

    henrybowman in reply to p1cunnin. | December 4, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Absoutely. This is just more Democrat “never let a crisis go to waste” bullshit. These license plate readers won’t be used against the looters (they’re worthless for that) — they will be used against the citizens in the future.

    San Jose wanted these LPRs, they’re using the looting as a transparent excuse.
    Just like gun bills are pre-written, to submitted right after a shooting which (in most cases) the new stuff in the bill has zero relevance to anything that actually happened.
    Just like the Patriot Bill was pre-written and waiting for a terrorist incident (which some claim was so long in not coming that we finally had to stage our own).

That is a good point. The money they are spending is not to prevent robberies but rather for after the fact activities that would attempt to catch or deter them. As to deterrence, it is a well known fact criminals don’t look that far ahead and, as you said, the main result would probably be more auto thefts.

Eff ’em. Let. It. Burn. and cue the Dionne Warwick.

    henrybowman in reply to LB1901. | December 4, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Way too ambiguous.
    “Walk On By?”
    “This Empty Place?”
    “Who Can I Turn To?”
    “I Say A little Prayer For You?”
    “Whaat The World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love?”
    Or just “Do you know the way to San Jose?”

Remember all those license plate readers that were bought by the UK to prevent IRA crimes, which are now used to collect the congestion tax.

    henrybowman in reply to MajorWood. | December 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Bingo. A bait and switch of exactly this type is being committed here.
    License plate readers are one of the world’s stupidiest solutions for this crime.

Spending Wuflu money on law enforcement is both racist and genocidal, or something.

Steven Brizel | December 4, 2021 at 8:11 pm

Let’s give any such member of the legacy media who is so terminated an award and call it the Ben Bradlee Memorial Award that is in honor of a legendary journalist who whitewashed the behavior of a senator from Massachusetts

Any individual taking part in a flashmob-style theft should be charged with the total cumulative value of the theft. That should easily push it up into felony grand theft for every participant.

No reason to be soft about this.

    jb4 in reply to Sian. | December 5, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Or how about RICO if these are really major networks to acquire and dispose of merchandise. Somehow, I do not think the Democrats at any level of government are at all serious about doing anything. They probably are now hoping a Roe v Wade SCOTUS decision next year changes the political dynamics for the midterms.

It’s time to put out “Free Food” on the counters of these high end store targets. Laced with rat poison…