California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to flip from reformer to crime-fighter.
The Democrat, who positioned himself for years as a criminal justice advocate, aims to spend $300 million to combat smash-and-grab robberies after a spate of brazen attacks on retailers across the state.
“The rules are the rules, the laws are the laws, and we just want people to be held to account,” Newsom said Friday as he announced his pricey plan to crack down on the criminal rings that he said are organizing the terrifying thefts.
In Los Angeles, nearly a dozen “flash-mob” raids resulted in $350 million worth of losses over a 10-day period in November.
Newsom’s spending proposal, which he will add to his annual budget package in January, includes $255 million to place local law enforcement officers in stores, $18 million to launch a new “organized theft” unit in the state attorney general’s office, and $20 million to help victimized small businesses.
“These organized retail mobs … (have) a profound impact on our feelings of safety here in this state, this region and as I note, this country,” Newsom said.
But critics said the plan is too little, too late.
“The Democrats’ relentless push for their ‘criminals first’ agenda has turned this once-majestic state into a sanctuary for criminals,” GOP state senate leader Scott Wilk said after Newsom unveiled the plan.
Republicans have blamed reforms championed by Newsom and other progressive Democrats for the frightening crime wave.
Proposition 47, a 2014 law that Newsom backed as a compassionate measure to keep low-level criminals out of crowded prisons, doubled the amount a suspect could steal to be considered a felony from $450 to $950.
“It’s a s–t show over here,” LAPD Det. Jamie McBride, a director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League police union, told The Post this month.
McBride and other critics also point to no-bail policies set by left-wing district attorneys like Los Angeles DA George Gascón and San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin for the retail theft explosion.