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Oakland misses deadline for state funds to curb thefts

A vandalized and looted store near the Oakland Coliseum
Thomas Hawk
Flickr / Creative Commons
A vandalized and looted store near the Oakland Coliseum

On Thursday, the Board of State and Community Corrections approved the distribution of more than $267 million to local police and sheriff's departments and district attorney's offices throughout California to fight organized retail theft. The money will go to create task forces, hire and train staff and purchase new technologies. There were 55 awardees, but not Oakland.

Oakland City Administrator Jestin Johnson said that his staff identified the state grant opportunity and put together an application.

Johnson told Bay City News the Oakland Police Department and the community partners timely provided their material. But, unfortunately, the Economic & Workforce Development Department did not complete the submission before the deadline.

A joint op-ed statement issued by the Oakland branch of the NAACP, the Chinatown business district and other leaders said: "Oakland residents are getting murdered, carjacked, and attacked in vicious strong-armed robberies ... People are afraid to walk the streets, shop or go to restaurants. We need strong, effective leadership. Shame on all who failed to get desperately needed funding when all they had to do was submit the application on time."

According to the city's annual crime report, commercial burglary saw a 112 percent increase between 2021 and 2022.