Take Down of Crime Ring Highlights Effectiveness of Multi-Agency Law Enforcement Response
Brazen daylight robberies, thefts and other street-level crimes against individuals and businesses take a steep toll on the public’s perception of safety in their communities. And they also become fodder for social media and other media coverage that only cements in the public’s mind that their cities and neighborhoods aren’t safe. The death this week of a beloved Oakland baker and business owner Jen Angel during an attempted robbery at her store offered grim evidence of the tragic and heartbreaking impact of crime in our cities, and the urgency for reining it in.
So, it was welcome news this week from Gov. Newsom that the California Highway Patrol Organized Retail Crime Task Force had taken down a crime ring responsible for the theft of more than $1 million in goods from Apple stores across the state. Formed in 2019 and expanded by Newsom last year, the Task Force has made a total of 853 arrests and recovered $28 million in stolen property. That criminals know they can’t act with impunity can serve as a powerful deterrent to just the kinds viiolent attacks that took Angel’s life.
Addressing crime and public safety is the focus of a new initiative the Bay Area Council has launched this year after our annual poll last year showed crime has skyrocketed as a top concern among Bay Area residents. Beyond ridding California of an active crime ring, the work of the Task Force highlights the effectiveness of multiple law enforcement agencies working together. That’s among the strategies the Council is exploring as we meet with local police leaders to understand how we can help. This kind of cooperation can also be helpful as police departments across the region struggle to fill big staffing shortages and recruit new officers.
To engage in our crime and public safety policy work, please contact Policy Director Laura Hill.