Jen Psaki says the pandemic is root cause of looting

Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a reporter’s question about looting during Thursday’s press conference, confirming that the Biden administration believes the pandemic is to blame.

“When a huge group of criminals organizes themselves and they want to go loot a store—a CVS, Nordstorm, a Home Depot—until the shelves are clean, you think that’s because of the pandemic?” asked Fox News’s Peter Doocy.

“I think a root cause in a lot of communities is the pandemic, yes,” Psaki replied, quickly moving on to call on another reporter.

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Psaki’s claim comes as a wave of shoplifting and looting sweeps across the country. 

Last week, thieves stole over $20,000 worth of cosmetics from an Ulta Beauty location in Pennsylvania when 5 masked people rushed in, grabbed everything they could and left within 40 seconds.

“This is something now that I really unfortunately think is going to spread,” Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told CNN on Thursday. “Right now it’s in California, but it will spread, there’s no question about it.”  

Liberal policies on crime and theft have subjected business owners in California to a rash of shoplifting and looting incidents. The state effectively decriminalized “minor” instances of shoplifting, defined as goods valued less than a total of $950.

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“Smash-and-grabs” were widespread on Black Friday. A Home Depot in California was mobbed by 8-20 individuals under the age of 21. The items they stole consisted of sledgehammers, hand hammers, and crowbars, leaving citizens fearful they would use those tools to strike other locations.

While news stories and viral videos of thievery in California have become commonplace, “smash-and-grab” hits are now spreading throughout other states as well.

Two Best Buy locations in Minneapolis were also targeted by mobs of thieves Friday. The first location was ransacked by a mob of 20-30 and the second a mob of 10-12. The majority of items taken were luxury and high end electronics, including TVs, tablets, and hoverboards.

The planning of many of the thefts can be traced back to organization via social media.

“I don’t know what’s driving all this, but it is of concern and it will continue,” Ramsey said. “It is not going to stop anytime soon.”

“This is not shoplifting, this is something far worse than shoplifting,” he continued. “So, there’s a lot that has to be done if we want to get a handle on it.”

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