Merchants and residents in the 24/680 – and beyond – got a taste of what a dystopian state looks like when a sizable number of the populace decides to rise up and indulge its taste for jewelry and expensive handbags over the weekend.
Proving that they’re willing to do just about anything to procure these items, dozens of hoodied, mobile retail tourists took to the road and visited a number of local malls and sites of interest – yes, including our local Nordy as well as some marihoochie dispensaries – bringing hammers and crowbars with them to make sure they got what they wanted.
These modern-day criminal guerilla actions did what they were probably intended to do: leave the citizenry stunned and unable to move whilst the thievery was done and, possibly, to send the message “See? We can do this whenever we want.”
Once you get over the level of organization and coordination it must have taken to carry out an action with dozens of actors in play many of us were left wondering “Why?”
Local police cited “intelligence” the piracy was a “planned event,” to which anyone within pepper spray range responded: “Really, ya think?” And we were left to watch as our elected officials sealed off streets and dragged barriers and other sizable objects into place in an effort to curb further visits from the marauders.
Those who draw political lines to, well, just about anything these days attempted to place blame for the raids on our district attorneys, governor, and a certain court verdict back east and any of the myriad of issues that trial raised. Others weren’t so sure, saying there was little to no mention of said case among the Retail Raiders and plenty more: “Move, bro, that’s my handbag…”
Whatever their motivation many of us were left feeling sorry for civic leaders and police who, along with their regular responsibilities must ad “public punching bag” to their CVs, and is there any wonder why we are losing school administrators and other public servants who are tired of being criticized by the howling, shrieking mob. And who would have imagined that mob would be comprised of parents?
Despite settling financial and supply chain issues we’re still living in unsettled times and things were never as unsettled as they were for several minutes in Walnut Creek Saturday night. It’s going to take some thought and good tactical planning to prevent a recurrence and let’s hope the public officials who have stuck it out and not abandoned public life for that trout stream in Oregon can figure it out.
We’ve got work to be done, for sure.