Former President Donald Trump called on Tuesday for the National Guard to be deployed in American cities where “smash-and-grab robberies” are decimating small businesses and forcing stores to close.
In a statement emailed to American Military News, Trump wrote the following:
If Democrats don’t immediately stop smash-and-grab robberies, which are taking place in their cities, the National Guard must be called out. There has never been such a thing that has happened in our Country. Large numbers of stores are leaving San Francisco and other cities. Some chains are closing most of their stores, it is all not even believable.
Across the United States, numerous chaotic robberies have left businesses in shambles as dozens of people rushed into stores and stole thousands of dollars in merchandise before fleeing in getaway cars.
Last week, a group of robbers reportedly pepper-sprayed an employee of the Westfield Topanga Mall near Los Angeles, Calif. before making off with nearly $25,000 in designer purses, according to Today.
Earlier this month, around 90 people ravaged a Nordstrom in Walnut Creek, Calif., stealing about $100,000 in merchandise while armed with weapons.
“I probably saw 50 to 80 people (with) like ski masks, crowbars, like a bunch of weapons,” a witness of the robbery said.
In Connecticut, video shared on Twitter showed masked robbers stealing carts-full of laundry detergent and other products in a brazen, early morning burglary.
“That’s why prices go up, because of these [expletive] people,” the person recording says while four robbers load their vehicles with the stolen merchandise. “Can’t get a job like the rest of us.”
According to NBC Connecticut, the thieves stole $1,600 worth of products.
“You’re surrounded by businesses. There’s people here all the time. Police station is two minutes that way. Doesn’t seem like the smartest move but obviously they were brazen enough to try it,” said local resident Anthony Sarlanis.
In response to the increasing number of robberies, the Los Angeles Police Department issued a community alert advising residents of the California city to “cooperate and comply” with the demands of robbers and saying “do not resist” the suspects.
“If you are being robbed, do not resist the robbery suspects; cooperate and comply with their demands. Be a good witness,” the department said in a community alert on Monday. The department said to immediately call 911 after the robbery takes place.
In October, Inside Edition reported a shortage of 911 operators is delaying police response times in cities across the United States, including Los Angeles.