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As of March 19, robberies involving a firearm skyrocketed 44 percent in Los Angeles compared to the same period last year, the city’s police said Tuesday.

Following the general trend of rising crime across major U.S. cities, LAPD Chief Michel Moore confirmed that Los Angeles has experienced a surge of robberies involving a gun.

“Over the course of this year, the Department has experienced an increase in robberies taking place in various communities in the City of Los Angeles. Most concerning is that there has been an increase in the levels of violence used during these robberies and the frequency in which a firearm was used,” a press release from the LAPD read.

As of March 19, nearly 2,000 robberies had been reported in L.A., compared to 1,690 over the same time period in 2021. Armed robberies accounted for 74 percent of the increase and 36 percent of al robberies.

Overall, robberies rose 18 percent year-to-date compared to 2021, and rose 5 percent compared to 2020. Robberies involving a firearm increased 44 percent compared to 2021, 57 percent compared to 2020, and 60 percent compared to 2019, according to Los Angeles Police Department data.

“Numerous arrests have been made and federal and state prosecutions are being pursued,” the LAPD said.

“There’s been a marked increase of armed robberies involving victims wearing expensive jewelry, as well as just other individuals whether they’re at commercial stores such as mini markets, convenience stores, gas stations, or on the street,” Moore said during a Board of Police Commission meeting Tuesday, Fox News first reported.

Progressive prosecutors have been accused of enabling L.A.’s crime wave by watering down the legal code and reducing sentences for certain offenses. Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon has come under fire for saying one thing but doing another when it comes to tough-on-crime posturing, rolling back enforcement of laws against resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, and making criminal threats.

As of February, a coalition of prosecutors in Los Angeles overwhelmingly supported a recall of Gascón. The vast majority of members of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles voting 97.9 percent to launch a recall effort. His decriminalization/non-prosecution of certain crimes as well as his practice of letting some offenders back onto the street too soon in L.A. has effectively emboldened criminals, they believe.

California’s robbery problem is well documented. Over the last year, multiple California cities experienced organized shoplifting heists, whereby a mob of thugs, some teens, ransacked large and luxury retailers generally without intervention from cops. Burglars were rarely apprehended or penalized after inflicting immense monetary damage via their smash-and-grabs. Train robberies were also up 356 percent in 2021 in L.A.

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