WATCH: Newsom Shocked to Hear Californians Blame Him for Shoplifting Problem

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) related Wednesday that he had been shocked to hear a clerk at a Target store blame him for the wave of shoplifting that has struck retailers in the state since the adoption of criminal justice reforms that he has backed.

He told the story while waiting for a Zoom call about his mental health reforms to begin.

Newsom related a story of visiting Target and watching someone steal from the store. He expressed surprise that the clerk did not pursue the thief, only to be told that no one stopped shoplifters because the governor lowered the threshold for punishing thieves.

The governor, whom the clerk did not recognize, protested: “That’s just not true,” he said. However, Proposition 47 of 2014, which he backed, and whose repeal he continues to oppose, reduced the penalty for theft up to $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Newsom said that $950 is the “tenth-toughest threshold of any state.” He added that once the clerk recognized him, she wanted to take a photo with him, but he refused.

In addition to backing Proposition 47, Newsom has also supported radical left-wing prosecutors like George Gascón, who is backed by left-wing billionaire George Soros, and who have refused to prosecute many minor offenders, which critics say has encouraged the wave of petty crime now plaguing California’s major cities.

Newsom has claimed, contrary to the evidence, that crime is at “50-year lows” in the state. He is also proposing new laws to tackle theft, ignoring the non-enforcement of existing law.

Retailers have been fleeing San Francisco, where Newsom was once the mayor, due to shoplifting and crime in the city’s once-thriving shopping district. Major retail chains have left, and those that remain are putting ordinary goods under lock and key.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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