Smash-and-grab squads: How US looting rings organize online as police are defunded

Liberal city residents are waking up to the robbery and violence running rampant wherever police departments have been defunded across America.

It looked like chaos when groups of young people dashed from cars into the Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco’s Union Square and ran off with luxury purses, bags, and designer wear.

A few days later, about 80 people stormed through a Walnut Creek mall, stealing expensive items before fleeing. At L.A.’s Grove shopping mall not long after, a smaller group used sledgehammers on a Nordstrom.

But California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said the group crimes are rooted in a kind of organized crime. Those dashing into the stores are mostly foot soldiers for others calling the shots from a safe distance.

So begins an LA Times story about events that are happening around the US that are being called “smash-and-grabs.”

According to Bonta, these are not independent looters but organized criminals, coordinated by crime bosses through social media where the “foot soldiers” are guided to the most profitable and vulnerable stores and the most easily fenced and profitable products.

Bonta says it is going to take a new “organized strategy” to stop such organized criminal activity, but many critics are saying that such a strategy once existed in the form of something called “poli

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