California-style mass-shoplifting comes to Minnesota

It seems that Minnesota only imports the worst ideas from California.

On Black Friday, a group of 20-30 people stole merchandise from a Best Buy store in south suburban Burnsville, Minnesota. The brazen, organized theft at 8 p.m. in the evening echoed recent incidents in California.

At about the same time on Friday night, a smaller group of about a dozen hit a different Best Buy in the east metro suburb of Maplewood. The near-simultaneous raids were significant enough to make national and even international news.

The mass-shoplifting problem has gotten so bad in the Golden State, that the normally soft-on-crime San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is handing out felony indictments.

San Francisco has suffered a rash of organized retail theft in recent years, the result of 2014’s Proposition 47. This ballot initiative essentially decriminalized theft of property worth less than $950.

Now, California thieves have been emboldened to take on higher-priced merchandise. It began a week ago, when more than a dozen ransacked a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco’s tony Union Square shopping district. Similar incidents have occurred elsewhere in Northern California, as well as Los Angeles and Chicago.

Best Buy has its corporate headquarters in nearby Richfield, Minnesota. The company issued a statement calling for federal legislation to combat the reselling of stolen goods.

It will be interesting to see what approach Minnesota officials will take to these sorts of crimes, as the disorder on the coast spreads across America.