Here’s a phrase that is becoming far too common for local and network newscasters the past few months; smash and grab.
It’s a dangerous trend that has become almost a daily way of life in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and other metropolises that are soft on crime. Organized mobs of thieves attack high-end and luxury retail stores, smashing display cases with hammers, and then fill up bags with whatever they want before fleeing with a stash that can be valued at over a million dollars.
One of the most high-profile and glamorous shopping centers in the country that attracts throngs of tourists and visitors is The Grove in Los Angeles. It’s an open-air complex, famous for its Christmas tree, the fact Extra used to tape their daily entertainment show there, and now because of the coil fence barrier that lines the properties entrances and exits.
The tangled tape coil fencing is constructed from aluminum and steel mesh and goes up every night after the mall closes and is then taken down when the gates open.
The mall is also beefing up its security presence, adding off-duty cops to stroll around during peak hours.
Here’s what Mike Lamb, a retail security expert, told CNN.
“The coil wire is a reasonably new technology in retail crime prevention. It looks like it’s designed not to cause injury, but [it] can tangle a person in it and slow down someone who is trying to get away quickly.”
The theft problem is becoming a crisis in the United States for big retailers. They report how traumatizing it is for employees to be caught up in them, and CEOs of Target, Best Buy, CVS, and other big retailers are hitting up Congress, asking for some help in dealing with this brazen crime wave.
The Grove got hit by smash and grab thugs on November 22nd, when they robbed Nordstrom of $5,000 in merchandise and caused $15,000 in damage.
Compounding the problem is even if they are arrested, the criminals are released almost immediately in Los Angeles because District Attorney George Gascon has implemented a system that did away with cash bail.