California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom this week recounted a story in which a local Target employee told him that “there’s no accountability” for retail theft because of him, according to an ABC affiliate.

Newsom, speaking on a Zoom call to discuss a ballot measure aimed at treating mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness in the state, shared a story about a recent encounter he had at a Sacramento-area Target store.

The governor said, “As we’re checking out,” he witnessed an unidentified man leave with an item without paying for it. Newsom added that the cashier said, ” ‘Oh, he’s just walking out.’ He didn’t pay for that.’ I said, ‘Well, why don’t you stop him?’ She goes, ‘Oh, the governor.’ “

He added that the employee said, “The governor lowered the threshold, there’s no accountability.”

Newsom said he responded, “That’s just not true. I said we have the 10th toughest, $950, the 10th toughest” threshold for felony theft “in America. She didn’t know what I was talking about.”

The governor said that the employee eventually recognized him and asked for a photo.

“She looks at me twice and then she freaks out. She calls everyone over, ‘Who wants to take photos?’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m not taking a photo. We’re having a conversation. Where’s your manager? How are you blaming the governor?’ And it was, you know, $380 later, and I was like, ‘Why am I spending $380? Everyone [else] can walk the hell right out.’ “

The Sacramento Bee noted that Newsom has called for state legislators to crack down on those who commit retail theft in order to resell items and for lawmakers to clarify the state’s penal code so that authorities can group multiple thefts together in order to meet the threshold for felony charges.

Theodore Bunker ✉

Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.


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