By Pamela Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press
In response to a recent increase in organized retail thefts across the state, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to increase its presence near major retailers and announced an increase in the state's 2022-2023 budget to combat retail theft.
"The level of organized retail theft is simply unacceptable," Gov. Newsom said.
He added that businesses and customers should feel safe while doing their holiday shopping.
"That's why California is substantially increasing the CHP's presence, especially near retail areas, and will invest even more to curb retail crime. As a small business owner, I am determined to hold these criminals accountable and protect our local businesses," he stressed.
The Governor's Office noted in a statement that since the series of robberies over the weekend in the Bay Area, the administration has coordinated with local mayors, police departments and retailers to address the increase in this crime.
In that regard, he said the state has increased California Highway Patrol presence in high-traffic commercial areas, and these will continue through the holiday season to assist allied partners in apprehending criminals, as well as to enhance public safety.
In July, Governor Newsom joined law enforcement leaders and 13 mayors to re-establish the CHP's Organized Retail Crime Task Force. Since its inception, it has conducted 773 investigations, resulting in the arrest of 240 people and the recovery of more than $18.9 million in stolen merchandise.
The Organized Retail Crime Task Force is responsible for collaborating with allied law enforcement agencies and district attorneys to identify and prosecute organized theft rings, recover lost merchandise, collaborate with the retail industry to reduce theft, and enhance shopper safety.
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