Fresno holds Retail Theft Summit ahead of holidays

Nic Garcia Image
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Fresno holds Retail Theft Summit ahead of holidays
EMBED <>More Videos

Ruthless robbers are becoming more common across the state. The Central Valley's shops and businesses are not immune to the problem plaguing retail.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Ruthless robbers are becoming more and more common across the state. The Central Valley's shops and businesses are not immune to the problem plaguing retail.

Most recently, two people were caught on camera stealing and assaulting an employee at a Kohl's in Northwest Fresno.

Police are still searching for the man and woman in the video.

"Crews are getting more aggressive and they're just taking so much more product. It's more than I've ever seen," said a retail sales associate named Victoria.

Victoria works at a local sporting goods store. She says she's witnessed large organized retail theft groups target local businesses.

Groups like the ones called out at the Retail Theft Summit held in Fresno city hall Tuesday.

"You see these organized retail theft crews, they're very serious criminals. They're gang members. They're not just stealing goods, they're participating in gun trafficking, human trafficking, and a lot of other things. These are dangerous people," said Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.

The summit Tuesday included the D.A., Fresno City and County leaders, and law enforcement agencies.

They met with local retailers to update them on the plans to bolster support, including hiring more police officers.

"What 901 officers means is we'll have more officers on the streets being able to serve you as well, and we're excited about that," said Fresno Police Deputy Chief Burke Farrah.

The deputy chief says they're doing all they can to respond and investigate theft.