The L.A. Times wrote an August 18 editorial (“L.A. Sets up Task Force after String of Flash Mob Robberies,”). The piece explained that people who asked for extra policing or who advocated criminals be brought to justice were fearmongering.
The editorial board wrote: “police tactics that were the norm decades ago – and that might still make for good TV or hold the public imagination are not the key to ending the current wave of robberies,” and pointed out that flash mobs are not unique to California. That there were also crimes committed in Chicago, Houston and Jacksonville, Florida.
The L.A. Times also pointed out that Los Angeles residents should be relieved that the police did not arrive in time at the Yves Saint Laurent at the Americana in Glendale on August 8, the Nordstrom Store in Topanaga on August 12, the Nike Store in East Los Angeles on August 14, and the Ksubi store on La Brea on August 15.
The L.A. Times reasoned that because the police were not there that meant there were no shootouts or hostages taken. That “effective law enforcement follows up on the back end with tireless work to identify the perpetrators.”
The Times also argued that more dangerous (than criminals) is the “utter nonsense” that Proposition 47, which reduced a $950 theft from a felony to a misdemeanor and that doing away with bail has had any effect on crime. “Ridiculous,” the Times wrote.
Readers chimed into CTN about the ineffective way Los Angeles is dealing with the current smash-and-grab robberies.
One wrote: “Just what we need is a taskforce to deal with hoodlums who ransack retail outlets. I’m sure a task force sitting around a big table with coffee and pastries are the right people to stop these assaults on our quality of life.”
A reader asked, “Am supposed to feel safer going to a mall now that Mayor Karen Bass has set up a task force that will be meeting later this month?”
Many expressed the view, contrary to Times’ opinion, that people were safer at malls because the police did not show. Readers wished the police had arrived on the scene.
Instead of having to track stolen goods after the fact, people wanted criminals captured and taken to the police station for questioning. Such as, “Who are you, who organized this and where do you report with the goods?” And to hold the suspects until they start talking.
One resident wrote: “Would knowing that the police show up if a crime is being committed make me feel comfortable to return to a mall. Yes, yes it would.”
In a letter to the editor about the editorial, one person wrote “Mayor Karen Bass maybe be doing her best, but the current out-of-control crime situation needs an emergency approach and a much tougher hand.”