Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, center, speaks during a news conference as he is joined by Mayor Eric Garcetti, second from right, outside the Los Angeles Police Headquarters Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
UPDATED 10:44 AM PT – Friday, December 3, 2021
More than a dozen smash-and-grab suspects were arrested in Los Angeles, but later released with no bail. Los Angeles city officials are pushing to rollback zero-bail policies as they believe they’re leading to more brazen crimes, including the recent string of smash-and-grab robberies.
In a press conference on Thursday, Police Chief Michel Moore said 11 flash mob type break-ins on high-end retailers occurred within 10 days in Los Angeles, resulting in the arrest of 14 suspects, all of whom have been released from custody on no bail. Chief Moore said L.A. stores were hit 11 times between Nov. 18 and Nov. 28, costing businesses about $338,000 in stolen merchandise and more than $40,000 in property damage.
The police chief believes the zero-bail policy put in place because of COVID and overcrowding issues, now hinders the justice system to deter crime. He sited one robbery at L.A.’s Grove, a retail and entertainment complex, as an example of how the lack of consequences has led thieves who organize online to become even more bold.
California ended its statewide policy of imposing zero-bail for misdemeanors and lower level felonies last year, but was kept in place within the L.A. County Superior Court system. However, with the recent run of large-scale thefts, even Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti agreed something needs to change and has asked for help from the city’s criminal justice system, judges and jailers.
Meanwhile, Police Chief Moore is set to meet with L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon on Friday to review zero-bail policies for repeat offenders.