Pillaging and plundering: The prosecution of the $950 theft

"We are devastated by the loss of security guard, and our friend Kevin Nishita.  Our deepest sympathy goes to Kevin's wife, his children, his family, and to all his friends and colleagues," KRON-TV's vice president and general manager, Jim Rose, said in a statement Saturday.

Sadly, Kevin Nishita lost his life while working as a security guard for KRON-TV, protecting a news crew covering smash-and-grab robberies that have been plaguing California.

Kevin was murdered when this den of thieves turned their attention from robbing a clothing store near downtown Oakland to attempting to rob the news crew of their camera equipment.

These smash-and-grab thefts have escalated, thanks to the über-liberal left and their George Soros–sponsored elected prosecutors failing to perform their duties.  These prosecutors hide behind a loophole in California law that makes theft below $950.00 a misdemeanor.  They use this law to claim that it is not worth their time to prosecute, so they either plea bargain the crime down to a fine only or outright dismiss the charge.

At issue here is that the law of shoplifting less than $950.00 should be applied only to an individual acting alone at best.  These smash-and-grab robberies being committed from Los Angeles to San Francisco and now across the country, are not being committed by individuals.  These crimes are being committed by highly organized groups of individuals acting in a conspiracy to commit these thefts.  This was evidenced recently in L.A., when more than 80 suspects stormed a shopping mall and then fled to numerous waiting getaway vehicles.

As these are gangs of thugs pillaging and plundering these cities, stealing by force, threat, or intimidation, these crimes should be charged as a conspiracy to commit robbery.  These are not individuals acting alone; they are highly coordinated, whether that be by planning these crimes in person or organizing the crime via a flash mob application.  Occasionally, that happens, and sometimes leftist district attorneys pay lip service to the idea, but very often, it does not.  The total value of all items taken should apply to all individuals caught, and they should be prosecuted for felony robbery.  In addition, the majority of those committing these crimes have been armed with lethal weapons, including five-pound sledgehammers, tire irons, and firearms.  In addition, since these crimes are highly organized, the U.S. attorney general's office of California and other states should bring charges under federal RICO statutes.

In California, when acting in a conspiracy, any crimes committed by any individual during the commission of these crimes, or in immediate flight therefrom, should apply to all individuals involved.  Therefore, all individuals involved in the robbery, including the one that led to the murder of Kevin Nishita, should be charged with felony murder.  Under California Penal Code 187(a), inherently dangerous felony murder is committed during the commission of any of the following crimes: residential burglary, robbery, rape, kidnapping, torture, mayhem, carjacking, arson, evading police, hostage-taking, and more.  This crime fits that description.  The felony murder of Kevin Nishita and all the consequences attached to it now apply to all individuals involved in the smash-and-grab robbery the KRON-TV crew were covering.  Felony murder charges apply regardless of who committed the murder.  The charges also apply whether anyone knew that an individual involved with them in the commission of the robbery was armed.

The murder of a retired police officer, who was still working to protect his community at the time of his death, should be an outrage that no one on the left or right should tolerate.  The Oakland community and all communities across this country where these crimes are being committed should be screaming to their local district attorneys and politicians to put an end to these crime sprees by charging all defendants appropriately and to the highest extent of the law.  It is the only way we will save our country from total chaos.

Scott W. Houghton is a United States Marine Corps veteran (Sergeant), and retired 32-year law enforcement veteran of the Douglas County Sheriff's Department, and the Denver, Colorado Police Department. He's also a 3-year SWAT officer, an FBI trained scout sniper, a Colorado Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) Certified Academy instructor, an 11-Year Field Training Officer, FBI and Denver Police-trained firearms instructor, KOGA, and Orcutt Police Nunchaku Arrest Control Techniques Instructor, a 4-year Mounted Patrol Officer, a Terrorism Liaison Officer, a 14-year Airport Officer, a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives, and a former Aviation Security Supervisor III-Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Image: City of Colma, press release.

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