Gavin Newsom Witnesses Brazen Shoplifting Firsthand, Rages Against Cashier When She Gives Explanation

Gavin Newsom Witnesses Brazen Shoplifting Firsthand, Rages Against Cashier When She Gives Explanation

It looks like California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

The far-left Democrat apparently was outraged when he witnessed a shoplifter brazenly walk out of a Target with stolen goods without being stopped.

Newsom recounted the event Wednesday during a Zoom call about a mental health bond measure he’s backing, according to The Mercury News of San Jose.

While waiting in line to checkout, the governor said, he witnessed a shopper blatantly walk out with unpaid merchandise.

“As we’re checking out, the woman says, ‘Oh, he’s just walking out, he didn’t pay for that,'” Newsom recalled. “I said, ‘Why didn’t you stop him?’ She goes, ‘Oh, the governor.'”

“Swear to God, true story, on my mom’s grave,” he added at the absurdity of the clerk not recognizing that she was talking to the governor.

“The governor lowered the threshold, there’s no accountability,” Newsom recounted the clerk telling him.

“I said, ‘That’s just not true,'” the governor said he responded.

“I said, ‘We had the 10th toughest — $950 is the 10th toughest in America,” he said, referring to the threshold at which property theft becomes a felony.

“She didn’t know what I was talking about — by the way, it’s the 10th toughest in America. Look it up,” Newsom said. “No one gives a damn about that.”

But the clerk doubled down, telling him, “We don’t stop them because of the governor.”

Only then did she realize she had been speaking to Newsom himself — and she wanted to take a photo with him.

“I said, ‘No, I’m not taking a photo — we’re going to have a conversation with your manager,'” Newsom said.

“How you blaming the governor?” he asked, looking offended.

“I was like, ‘Why am I spending $380 when everyone can walk the hell right out?'” Newsom said.

What he left out of the conversation is the full scope of the state’s laws and how they are enforced.

The operative word here is the use of the term “felony.”

Several states have a threshold of $1,000 and above to categorize shoplifting as a felony. That makes California’s $950 threshold sound like a tougher law.

But the problem is the state does little or nothing to prosecute misdemeanor crimes, which is what anything under $950 is categorized as.

When Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon was sworn in in 2020, one of the first statements he made in office was to promise not to prosecute a whole range of misdemeanor offenses, according to KABC-TV.

That, combined with far-left activist judges statewide, makes police see little point in arresting perpetrators if they’ll simply be released.

Then there’s Senate Bill 553, which Newsom signed into law last year. According to KSBY-TV, the legislation prohibits employers from asking employees to stop shoplifters, which is what the store manager probably would have told Newsom if they actually had a discussion.

So California essentially has a bifurcated system — slightly stricter on felony theft because the threshold is a little lower, yet turning a blind eye to misdemeanor theft under that mark.

Criminals have realized they can happily shoplift up to $949 in goods with near impunity.

As long as you don’t hit $950, you’re golden.

This loophole is why retailers feel so helpless and why shoplifting seems out of control in the state despite the fact it statistically has a tougher law for felony theft.

Critics blame a 2014 measure called Prop 47 — which turned some nonviolent property crimes into misdemeanors — for the rise in retail theft.

But Newsom has defended his support of that ballot initiative, arguing that it made the threshold for felony theft lower than the threshold in Texas, according to Mercury News.

His office also cited a recent CapitalOne analysis finding California’s retail theft rate 17 percent under the national average.

However, that same report acknowledged the extreme impact on major metropolitan areas in the state, with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland ranking as the top cities in the country targeted by retail crime rings. Sacramento tied for eighth worst in the nation, alongside Chicago, for organized retail theft.

Additionally, the statistics don’t take into account the crimes — like the one that took place right before Newsom’s eyes at Target — that do not get reported.

Either the governor is completely oblivious to how the system works or he deliberately told the story on the call to play a little misdirection about how California’s laws work.

One X user said, “It means he’s shoveling shirt to deceive by citing the felony/misdemeanor theft $ threshhold because the important distinction is that California doesn’t police theft misdemeanors the way nearly all other states do. Cali treats it as a citation like a minor traffic violation”


A few seconds after he told the story, Newsom said, “Hopefully, all the reporters weren’t on this,” as if it just occurred to him that his story might make some news.

But maybe it’s what he had planned all along.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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