Recent video footage has captured scenes of closed stores and boarded up windows in an area once considered a luxury retail shopping Mecca.
Stunning images from the once-bustling Beverly Hills shared by a TikTok user show both high-end stores and some restaurants closed as crime and organized retail theft maintain a daily presence in California.
In a post called “RIP Beverly Hills,” an account by the name cosy90210 shows shuttered stores including: Barney’s, Battistoni, Nike Town, Escasda, Brooks Brothers, Indochino, Kylin Gallery, Chaser, Intermix, Chanel, WESC, Nanette Lepore, Tory Burch, Paul & Joe, The Kooples, Duxiana, VI Spring.
Included in similarly titled posts are closures of Rite Aid, U.S. Bank, Chipotle, and Georgetown Cupcake.
RIP West Hollywood, youll bever be the same 😭 #recessioncore #recession2023 #politicaltiktok #losangeles #westhollywood #rentcrisis #rentcrisis2023 #pump #sur #subway #starbucks #sprouts #24hrfitness #powerzone #capitalism #consumerism #corporatism #corporatismisnotcapitalism #homelessness #homelesscrisis #greed #greedylandlord #bidenomics #clownworld
The businesses have closed amid an overwhelming crime wave surging in Southern California, with 9,455 burglaries reported in Los Angeles as of Aug. 26, according to Knewz, which cited data from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
Such crimes are up 14 percent from 2021.
In May, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the creation of a statewide enforcement operation targeting organized crime rings.
The California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF) is conducting investigations targeting a criminal operation thought to be responsible for more than $150 million in stolen merchandise.
Since the 2020 pandemic, retail theft has surged, with California being a major hot spot.
According to federal officials, the theft rings are highly organized transnational operations involving Mexican drug cartels who organize the thefts, then resell stolen merchandise online and launder profits through Chinese brokers.
“It’s a $70 billion a year enterprise — organized retail crime,” said Eric DeLaune, special agent in charge at the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) during an announcement this week of a public-private partnership between HSI, U.S. attorneys in multiple states, and several retailers.
The partnership is called the Organized Retail Crime Alliance and seeks to stamp out the networks behind the retail theft wave across the U.S.
“Organized retail crime is leading to more brazen, more violent attacks in retail stores throughout the country and many of the criminal rings orchestrating these thefts are also involved in other serious criminal activity,” HSI’s acting executive associate director Steve Francis said in a statement. “Tackling this growing threat is important to the safety of store employees, customers, and communities across the country.”