AOC blasted for doubting ‘smash-and-grab’ heists; retail org. says she ‘has no idea what she’s talking about’

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is being criticized after she appeared to suggest that so-called “smash-and-grab” robberies, which have been on the increase across the country but especially in California, were not really occurring. “A lot of these allegations of organized retail theft are not actually panning out,” the self-described Democratic socialist from New York said in an interview with The Washington Times last week. “I believe it’s a Walgreens in California who cited it, but the data didn’t back it up,” she went on to claim. Videos of the robberies have frequently gone viral on social media. Ocasio-Cortez got a lot of pushback for her remarks, especially from GOP lawmakers but also from retailers that have been targeted by such robberies, including Walgreens. “Organized retail crime is one of the top challenges facing” the company, Walgreens told the newspaper, adding that the incidents have “evolved beyond shoplifting and petty theft to the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods online.” “I don’t know what data she is talking about,” noted Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill), Fox News reported. “But you don’t really need much data from someplace in San Francisco or California. All you need to do is walk down the street to the CVS in Eastern Market,” he told the network, in reference to a part of Washington, D.C., located near the Capitol. “I’ve seen on multiple occasions when I’ve been in there buying things, someone will come in and raid a shelf and walk out,” he said. Other Republican lawmakers clapped back at “AOC” as well, including Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who described the Democrat’s remarks as “tone-deaf and offensive,” especially to the family of Kevin Nishita, an Oakland security guard and former San Jose police officer who was shot and killed last month while defending a news crew that was reporting on a smash-and-grab theft.