Letters to the Editor: Readers say smash-and-grab robberies are signs of societal decay in L.A.

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass at a news conference with law enforcement officials on Thursday.
L.A. Mayor Karen Bass addresses recent smash-and-grab robberies during a news conference with law enforcement officials in Los Angeles on Thursday.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: Major stories about recent smash-and-grab robberies and excessive damage done to hotels that shelter homeless people further highlight the continued social breakdown and deterioration in Los Angeles.

It is disgusting and disheartening to see what is happening to the city in which I grew up and have lived my entire life. I would like to see a much stronger approach taken to protecting the law-abiding, taxpaying, hard-working residents of Los Angeles.

I am a lifelong Democrat, but for mayor I supported Rick Caruso. Mayor Karen Bass may be doing her best, but the current out-of-control crime situation needs an emergency approach and a much tougher hand.


I hope it is not too late to return our city to a safe and clean place where people will want to live and tourists will want to visit.

Liz Sherwin, Los Angeles


To the editor: What shocks me is how common these articles on smash-and-grab robberies have become. There are also articles about drugstores and grocery stores placing merchandise in locked cages to prevent shoplifting.

The commandment “Thou shalt not steal” shows it was obvious thousands of years ago that people shouldn’t engage in this kind of behavior, because humans cannot live in a society where the property rights of others are not respected.

What we need today is less psychological-sociological dialogue on why people steal and the root causes, and more emphasis on the fact that no one is above the law.

Bill Gravlin, Rancho Palos Verdes



To the editor: The underlying cause of these incidents is the false dichotomy between “personal” crime and “property” crime.

When someone attacks a business, especially a small one, it is a personal crime — it ruins people’s lives and livelihoods. This is why I believe that force is justified against these criminals when these burglaries take place.

Business owners and security personnel should be indemnified against criminal and civil liability when they respond to these invaders with force.

Michael Schaller, Temple City


To the editor: I do not like the idea of these thieves taking potential hostages, but I disagree that police shouldn’t try to stop these burglaries when they’re actually taking place.


I believe that potential copycats and the public need to see the interruption of one of these high-profile incidents and arrests made on the spot.

Joseph DeMello, Long Beach


To the editor: The Times has called these burglaries “flash mob robberies.”

I am the owner of Flash Mob Las Vegas, and we provide surprise entertainment through dance and music. Please discontinue referring to these organized criminal activities as flash mobs.

Flash mobs are entertainment events that involve no such criminal activity. You are giving what we do a bad reputation by mislabeling these illegal activities.

Denise Lahav, Las Vegas