Posted on January 27, 2022

Gang of Thieves – Who Don’t Even Bother Covering Their Faces – Raid an Ulta Beauty Salon in Crime-Plagued LA

Christina Coulter, Daily Mail, January 25, 2022

A group of bold thieves, two of whom didn’t even bother covering their faces, were caught on camera filling trash bags with cosmetics at an Ulta Beauty salon in Los Angeles County as a security alarm blared and fed-up shoppers groaned.

‘When are people gonna say enough?’ an exasperated bystander can be heard saying as the group of at least six shoplifters fled the store and piled into a white Dodge Challenger in the parking lot of the Azalea shopping center in South Gate.

A witness to Thursday’s Ulta robbery said the thieves ‘knew exactly what they were doing.’

‘They went straight for the perfume and cologne. Small, easy to grab and worth about $100 each,’ she said.

California has been plagued by smash-and-grab looters during the past year, with many blaming the soft-on-crime policies of progressive Los Angeles County DA George Gascon.

The passage of Proposition 47 in 2014 also downgraded charges of property theft of less than $950 in value from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Non-violent property crimes under $950 have been downgraded to misdemeanors, while two or more people conspiring to ‘cheat and defraud any person or any property, by any means which are in themselves criminal’ face no more

The robbery at the beauty salon chain come on the heels of California Governor Gavin Newsom announcing new initiatives last week to combat the rising crime rate after packages discarded by thieves near the Union Pacific tracks in downtown Los Angeles made the site look ‘like a third-world country.’ than one year in county prison, a fine of $10,000 or a combination of the two.

Video showed several young women loading up bags of merchandise before scampering out of the store.

South Gate police say $4,000 to $5,000 worth of merchandise was taken.

No one was hurt in the theft, and no arrest has been made.

The location has been targeted by robbers multiple times, South Gate police.

Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz, who is also vice president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said: ‘If they’re caught, they’re probably given the equivalent of a traffic ticket.

‘So it’s not taken seriously.’

Sandoz cited an incident in which an employee of a Rite Aid in Glassell Park was shot and killed earlier this month after he tried to stop two men from stealing a case of beer.

The slain employee was identified as 36-year-old Miguel Penaloza.

According to criminal defense attorney Alexandra Kazarian, Penaloza’s death shows that store employees are fearful of confronting shoplifters who might use violence if someone tries to stop them.

‘The employees at TJ Maxx have been told that, in these specific circumstances, it’s not worth it for you to go and physically attack, physically stop people that are walking out with this inventory,’ Kazarian told CBS Los Angeles.

‘Because these businesses have insurance.’

Kazarian also disputed the notion that shoplifters who walk out with piles of goods are not getting punished.

‘People who are stealing giant, giant tote bags, giant backpacks worth of inventory are not getting the same benefit of the people that are stealing food and clothing for their children,’ she said.

No arrests have been made in the Rite Aid shooting. The LAPD released surveillance footage showing the alleged suspects.

‘If you let these criminals think that they can go in and steal merchandise and steal things, what happens when someone tries to stop them?’ Sandoz said.

The LAPD said it is investigating the TJ Maxx incident as well.

A spokesperson for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said: ‘Once officers make an arrest or cite someone for a crime, they will present the case to our office.

‘We make charging decisions accordingly. We do so based on the facts, the totality of the circumstances, and the law.’

Gascon is one of the left-leaning leaders in California who many claim are only allowing the crime to worsen because of new policies they say are soft on crime.

Last Monday, the La Verne City Council became the 24th to pass a ‘no confidence’ vote against Gascon for that very reason. A spokesperson for the La Verne City Council told Fox 11 in a statement that Gascon’s policies are a ‘risk to public safety.’

A petition to recall Gascon also launched in May, which specifically cites his refusal to seek the death penalty in any cases and his decision to drop sentence enhancements like gang affiliation.

A spokesman for Gascón told ABC 7 that the no-confidence votes are nothing more than a political ploy, but did not comment further.