The head of the Los Angeles Police Department’s union has a message for tourists planning a trip to the city this holiday season – don’t do it. Don’t go to Los Angeles. That’s quite a message coming from the second-largest city in the United States. The rising crime rate running rampant across the country is hitting Los Angeles especially hard.
Jamie McBride, head of the union representing LAPD officers, said he can’t guarantee personal safety. His warning came with a movie reference.
“My message to anyone thinking about coming to Los Angeles, especially during the holiday season, is don’t,” Jamie McBride, the head of the LA Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, said in a television interview. The message from McBride comes as what many residents and business owners view as a wave of crime slamming the city and surrounding areas.
“We can’t guarantee your safety. It is really, really out of control. I said it to people before, it’s like that movie ‘Purge,’ you know, instead of 24 hours to commit your crime, these people have 365 days to commit whatever they want,” McBride said.
McBride is referencing the 2013 horror film where all crime, including murder, is decriminalized one day of the year.
The police chief takes an opposite view of the situation in Los Angeles. LAPD Chief Michel Moore brushes McBride’s concerns aside.
“It’s not out of control. It’s not a spiral that we’ve lost control over,” Moore told reporters. “It is important that we not have a sense of acquiescing or just lackadaisical approach to this. We’re calling out the severity of it.”
Who are you going to believe – me or your lyin’ eyes? We’ve all seen the videos of smash and grabs occurring on a daily basis in cities across the country. Homicides are up in major cities. Other crimes like carjackings, purse snatchings, and shoplifting have risen in frequency, too. Criminals are acting with impunity, thanks to progressive D.A.s who are declaring no desire to prosecute all but the most egregious of crimes. Contributing to the madness is the trend to release criminals without bail.
McBride’s bold analogy and Moore’s reassurances come on the heels of several high-profile smash-and-grab robberies. On Nov. 22, a Nordstrom in Los Angeles was ransacked, putting retailers and shoppers on edge. Police arrested 14 suspects connected to retail robberies last month, but all have since been released due to zero-bail policies placed during the pandemic, according to the report.
Moore admits that robberies are up 5% compared to last year, but said the rate is still about 13% lower than 2019.
“I believe tourists coming to Los Angeles are safe. Certainly, as safe here as any other portion of the country,” he said.
People moving into the city are surprised by the crime there.
“It’s pretty scary walking at night,” said Sarah Veenstra, who moved to LA from Wisconsin about six months ago. She said she didn’t realize crime and safety would be such an issue.
“I genuinely thought it would be a safe area. It turned out not be as safe as I thought. I’m definitely, like, carrying something on me every time I leave the house when it’s dark out,” she said.
Rampant crime continues. Some of the latest victims were hit at the downtown Intercontinental Hotel, where armed robbers stole an estimated $100,000 in jewelry early Tuesday morning.
The National Retail Federation reported 69% of retailers saw a spike in organized retail crime in 2021 across the country. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) sent a letter to Congress yesterday supported by 20 leading retail chief executives representing companies across the board, including retailers like Home Depot, Target, Best Buy, and CVS.
The letter urges Congress to pass the Integrity, Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act, which makes it harder for stolen merchandise to be sold online by thieves or scammers who engage in organized retail crime, such as smash-and-grab robberies. The legislation, as reported, would require platforms to verify the identifies of sellers.
“Leading retailers are concerned about the growing impact organized retail crime is having on the communities we proudly serve,” RILA wrote in the letter, highlighting support for the INFORM Consumers Act. “This important legislation will modernize our consumer protection laws to safeguard families and communities from the sale of illicit products and we urge its quick passage.”
RILA also noted in the letter that “criminals are capitalizing on the anonymity of the Internet and the failure of certain marketplaces to verify their sellers” which makes “businesses a target for increasing theft” and hurts “legitimate businesses who are forced to compete against unscrupulous sellers.”
“There is no simple answer to stopping organized retail crime or the sale of counterfeits — but key to stemming the tide of these growing problems is transparency,” the letter stated, pointing to a “lack of transparency on particular third-party marketplaces” which have “allowed criminal activity to fester.”
The LAPD union head can’t guarantee the personal safety of its residents or tourists in his city. Retailers are speaking out about the increase in crime, both online and in brick and mortar stores. The Biden administration often cites the pandemic as the reason for the escalating rise in criminal activity. That’s an easy scapegoat for them and gives them the opportunity to push vaccinations to help end the pandemic. What makes more sense is to look at the effects that ending bail requirements and the defund the police movement have had on criminals. They’ve been emboldened. It will get worse before it gets better, likely requiring a major change in elected officials, one that ushers in those who are more inclined to support law and order and the rule of law. That means big Democrat-controlled cities will have to make some big changes for their cities to become more livable.