The windows of the Dior store in Union Square in San Francisco were boarded up as of Nov. 25, 2021. Videos on social media showed masked people running with goods from several high-end retailers in the storied shopping area. Photo by Samuel Rigelhaupt / Sipa USA

(CALMATTERS) – California Democrats are embracing a tougher-on-crime approach ahead of next year’s elections and in the wake of brazen smash-and-grab robberies. In a Wednesday conversation with the Sacramento Press Club, Attorney General Rob Bonta said he plans to make an “important announcement” on Friday about organized retail theft. He referred to the crimes as “felonies” and noted that there are “more than enough tools in the California criminal justice toolbox to charge them as such.” Meanwhile, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo on Tuesday denounced a judge’s recent decision to grant supervised release to two men charged in a deadly Halloween shooting, tweeting, “I appreciate the purpose of bail reform, but releasing a homicide suspect without bail is outrageous. The pendulum has swung too far, and it’s our neighborhoods that endure the most crime that suffer as a result.” (Ironically, Bonta was one of the state Legislature’s leading proponents of bail reform before Newsom appointed him attorney general.)

The crime uptick has caught the attention of former President Donald Trump, who said Tuesday that said the National Guard should enter cities such as San Francisco where “Democrats don’t immediately stop smash-and-grab robberies.” San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who’s facing a recall election in June, retorted that the “instigator of the Capitol smash and grab should stay out of SF politics.” Boudin could face scrutiny, however, for his office’s decision to not oppose the recent supervised release of Aziza Graves, who allegedly stole more than $40,000 in merchandise from a San Francisco Target store and was charged with 120 misdemeanor counts of petty theft and eight felony counts of grand theft.