14 arrested for L.A. smash-and-grab robberies all released on zero-bail policies

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14 arrested for L.A. smash-and-grab robberies all released on zero-bail policies

Over a dozen suspects tied to the spate of nearly a dozen smash-and-grab robberies in Los Angeles were busted but then quickly released due to zero-bail policies, which has left the LAPD’s top cop frustrated.

The 14 arrests followed a “rash” of 11 “flash-mob type” raids in which nearly $350,000 in goods was swiped in just 10 days in the City of Angels last month, with the last on Nov. 28, LAPD chief Michel Moore said Thursday.

“All of the suspects taken into custody are out of custody,” Moore complained, blaming “zero-bail criteria” for the release of all but one, who was a juvenile.

“There’s criminal elements that are recognizing that condition and are capitalizing on it,” he warned of crooks emboldened by the soft-touch approach.

 LAPD Chief Michel Moore speaks during a news conference to announce arrests in connection with recent smash-and-grab robberies, and to provide safety measures and prevention tips at the LAPD Headquarters in Los Angeles on Thursday, December 2, 2021.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore speaks during a news conference to announce arrests in connection with recent smash-and-grab robberies and to provide safety measures and prevention tips at the LAPD Headquarters in Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 2021.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

“We are concerned,” the police chief admitted. “You can be arrested for crimes such as burglary — a serious felony, a person coming into your home or business … and that’s a zero bail.

“Meaning that we book and process, identify you, and then your arraignment date is three to four months from now,” he said.

“Remember, the vast majority of crime is committed by relatively few people. And when the few people are constantly gaming the system to understand its weaknesses” they can easily “prey upon society,” he said.

The 11 raids caused at least $40,000 in property damage, Moore said, insisting that the impact on the community now terrified of violent raids “cannot be overstated.”

California’s statewide policy of imposing no bail for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies was introduced last year to help reduce the jail population at the height of the pandemic.

Although it was due to end late last year, it has been kept in place within the LA County Superior Court system.

Mayor Eric Garcetti backed the police chief’s complaint, insisting, “There are people who need to be behind bars.”

Pictures of recent smash and grabs during a news conference to announce arrests in connection with recent smash-and-grab robberies, and to provide safety measures and prevention tips at the LAPD Headquarters in Los Angeles on Thursday, December 2, 2021.
The 11 “flash-mob type” raids cost businesses nearly $350,000 in goods.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images
A security guard watches the entrance to a Louis Vuitton store, which has had its windows boarded. Stores have increased security in response to a spike in thefts.
A security guard watches the entrance to a Louis Vuitton store, which has had its windows boarded. Stores have increased security in response to a spike in thefts.
Ethan Swope/Getty Images

“How many times does the same person have to steal a car — three, four, five times — after being released before we realize” that they should have been held, he asked.

However, he insisted it was only “partly” due to progressive District Attorney George Gascón, who supports ending bail across the board for misdemeanor, non-violent and non-serious felony offenses.

“Much of it is coming from the judicial system itself, not the prosecutors,” he insisted.

“We need the help of our criminal justice system, of our judges, of our jailers,” Garcetti said.

“We have opened up a lot of the city because we’re in a better place with COVID. We should be able to also open up our jails, and we should be able to have judges that put people behind those bars.”

Despite the stinging criticisms of the policies he ran on, Gascón’s office still reckoned the smash-and-grab robbers would be held accountable.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks as the LAPD Chief Michel Moore, right, listens during a news conference to announce arrests in connection with recent smash-and-grab robberies, and to provide safety measures and prevention tips at the LAPD Headquarters in Los Angeles on Thursday, December 2, 2021.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at a news conference to announce arrests in connection with recent smash-and-grab robberies on Dec. 2, 2021.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

“These brazen acts hurt all of us: retailers, employees and customers alike,” said Gascón’s special advisor, Alex Bastian.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who has boasted of his criminal justice reform efforts, promised on Wednesday that the proposed budget he sends to state lawmakers next month will “significantly increase our efforts to go after these retail rings.”

With Post wires

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