A former police officer says he wouldn’t blame retailers for leaving cities that have been hit by rampant “smash-and-grab” robberies – a crime wave that a high-profile Capitol Hill Democrat has suggested is nothing but a hoax.

In an interview last week with The Washington Times, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) challenged reports that the organized thefts were actually occurring. “A lot of these allegations of organized retail theft are not actually panning out,” AOC told The Times. “I believe it’s a Walgreens in California cited it, but the data didn’t back it up.”

A spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association has taken issue with AOC’s remarks, stating in an email: “”Respectfully, the Congresswoman has no idea what she is talking about. Both the data and stack of video evidence makes fairly clear that this is a growing problem in need of solutions.”

And speaking earlier today on Fox News about the controversial lawmaker’s comments, former New York assemblyman Dov Hikind said the crimes, in fact, are being committed, leaving “real victims” behind. “Maybe [she] is blind. Clearly, she doesn’t see it,” he stated. “AOC doesn’t care about victims. She cares about the criminal.”

Most of the smash-and-grab incidents have occurred in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, prompting Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom to call on mayors to “step up,” hold the criminals accountable, and prosecute them.

Get outta town? That makes sense

American Family News spoke with Jeff Katz, a former police officer in Philadelphia who is now a radio personality for WRVA in Richmond, Virginia. He says if retail businesses opt to pull out of those cities being hit by the robberies, he wouldn’t blame them at all.

“If I owned a store and this happened to me, or if I was a shareholder in a company experiencing this sort of nonsense, I think I would certainly close a store that I own,” says Katz. “And I’d expect a company that I had invested in to do the same thing.”

Katz, whose columns are featured in several major city newspapers, says he does not know how a business can maintain a presence when experiencing something like what retailers are facing with looters or “smash-and-grabs” like the ones that have been making national news.

“Ordinarily, you’d be able to pick up a phone, you’d be able to call the police, you’d expect people to be arrested and prosecuted,” he explains. “But if that’s not happening, what are you going to do except close the doors?”

Root cause? Leftists

Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki blamed COVID partly for the situation going on at stores. “One of the root causes of crime in communities is guns and gun violence – and we’ve seen that statistically around the country,” Psaki stated. “… I think a root cause in a lot of communities is the pandemic, yes.”

Katz isn’t buying it. “There’s a reason that I refer to Psaki as Little Red Lying Hood,” he says. “I don’t think she has more than a tangential connection with the truth, and it’s never been clearer than this particular issue.”

The root cause of the looting and widespread criminal activity, according to Katz, is leftists who have adopted the phrase “Defund the Police” – and then acted on it.

“It’s leftists who have said they’re going to ‘reimagine public safety,’ which apparently – if you look at San Francisco – includes the district attorney saying ‘We’re not going to prosecute crimes’ – [and] New York City, where the mayor has attacked the police more than he’s dealt with the criminals.”

He cites the protests/riots in cities over the summer, the extensive damage that resulted, and politicians – including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris – encouraging people to donate to the defense funds for those who were burning the cities.

“I think that’s your root cause right there,” Katz concludes.


Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.

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