On Monday, a California councilman was robbed while speaking to shop owners about crime in the Bay Area.
Emeryville council member Kalimah Priforce found his “wallet and keys had been stolen from his bike bag” at Bay Street Mall.
“A lot of stores that can’t afford private guards need panic buttons, a direct line to the police, so they don’t have to actually pick up the phone [and] call the police dispatch,” he said, before realizing he had been robbed, according to a report from Fox News.
— Betty Yu (@bett_yu) August 30, 2023
Priforce called the police to report the incident after realizing his things were gone.
“The thing is that they’re not going to get much from it, I am on a politician’s budget,” he joked to CBS News. “But no, everything is digital now. The criminals will adapt and we have to adapt with them.”
Priforce said that politicians need to be doing more to protect business owners.
“Better prepared, better cameras, better surveillance, better ways of being able to protect our local businesses,” he said. “Unfortunately, we place more emphasis on luxury-rate market apartments in our cities than we do on our public safety.”
The day before the robbery, a swarm of teens had descended on the mall and a massive brawl ensued.
“One gunshot was fired, one person was stabbed, and workers at stores like Bath & Body Works locked themselves in the stock room,” CBS News reports. “Police said the drama started with about 50 teens in one store before it escalated outside.”