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Fourteen people arrested for group thefts at high-end LA stores, subsequently released

Last week, 14 people were arrested in relation to smash-and-grabs in Los Angeles and are no longer in police custody.

In the latest development of a string of smash-and-grabs in Los Angeles, more than a dozen suspects were arrested and subsequently released, with the exception of one. Each person was able to meet their bail or met the no-bail criteria, and one was underage. The 14 suspects are believed to have been involved in 11 different robberies occurring between November 18 and 28, resulting in a collective loss of $340,000 among the targeted stores.

Police Chief Michael Moore and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held a joint news conference on December 2. They called for an end to the no-bail policies for misdemeanors and low-level felonies, which were implemented in California during the pandemic, aimed at freeing space within jails.

Garcetti stated that as the pandemic continues to ease, it’s time for the policy to be removed so that those committing violent crimes and endangering others can be locked up. “We need the help of our criminal justice system, of our judges, of our jailers,” he added. “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.”

Moore said the police investigating had the support of the LA District Attorney, George Gascón, who ran on an agenda of ending bail for those committing misdemeanors, non-violent and non-serious felony offenses. 

An advisor to Gascón released a statement regarding the smash-and-grabs. “Our office has been collaborating with multiple law enforcement agencies and once all the evidence has been gathered, we will review the cases to determine what criminal charges should be filed,” Alex Bastian, special advisor to Gascón, said in the statement. “These brazen acts hurt all of us: retailers, employees and customers alike.”

ARTICLE: RITA VOGT

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THEBL.COM

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