Walnut Creek Spends $2 Million In Response To Nordstrom Attack

December 1, 2021 16:47 pm · 40 comments

By Tony Hicks – Walnut Creek will beef up its police presence by spending $2 million over 18 months to add five officers to a new downtown beat, adding security cameras to the area, and flying a tether drone over Broadway Plaza.

At a special meeting Wednesday morning, the City Council unanimously voted to spend half of its remaining unallocated federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds on measures to prevent a repeat of the coordinated ransacking of Nordstrom on Nov. 20. Council member Matt Francois was absent and unable to vote, but did speak via Zoom.

An estimated 90 people pulled into Broadway Plaza about 8:45 p.m. that day in up to 25 vehicles with license plates either removed or covered. In just a few minutes, they rushed the store and made off with $87,000 of merchandise and caused another $38,000 in damage. Three workers were injured, including one who was pepper sprayed by the same person who allegedly punched and kicked a female employee.

Police have arrested three suspects, including one on felony probation who allegedly possessed a handgun at the time.

“I wish we could spend these funds elsewhere; I really do … but this is the fire we need to put out,” said Walnut Creek Mayor Kevin Wilk. “We need to ensure that we keep the community safe and that we provide the greatest deterrence possible from the city of Walnut Creek, to our Police Department and other measures. We need to do everything in our power to ensure that this is the case.”

The five police officers will cost $1.6 million through the end of June 2023. The city will also spend $215,000 for additional security cameras and $35,000 on the unmanned tether drone, which hovers 100 feet overhead.
The council will also allocate $130,000 for immediate overtime pay for additional officers three days a week through June 30, 2022, as recruitment and hiring of new officers typically takes anywhere from eight to 18 months, Police Chief Jamie Knox told the council.

The department currently has 75 officers working of its authorized 80 positions, a typical rotating ratio due to retirements and other reasons.

The council also formally approved sending letters to the county district attorney, state attorney general, state legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom, expressing concern and asking for additional resources.

The incident made national headlines for its scale and boldness. Thieves arrived just before Nordstrom’s 9 p.m. closing, essentially turning the street out front into what one officer described as a parking lot. The entire heist took about five minutes, which police said indicated a high degree of planning that will likely bring charges of felony conspiracy.

“We are following up on several leads and I do anticipate additional arrests in the coming weeks,” Knox told the council.

The attack was one of many similar attacks in the Bay Area that weekend by dozens of armed suspects at stores in Oakland, San Francisco, Hayward, Pleasanton, and San Jose. Authorities have said it’s not clear whether the incidents are related.

The street running through Broadway Plaza is closed until at least the end of 2021.

From Clayton December 1, 2021 at 5:03 PM

They let the first one happen in 2020. My family was there when it happened. There were police from 6 different cities who swooped in AFTER the looting. The city new Broadway Plaza was going to get hit and did nothing to stop it. Your reap what you sow.

From Clayton December 1, 2021 at 5:04 PM

They let the first one happen in 2020. My family was there when it happened. There were police from 6 different cities who swooped in AFTER the looting. The city new Broadway Plaza was going to get hit and did nothing to stop it. You reap what you sow.

Exit 12A December 1, 2021 at 5:10 PM

Those funds could have been spent on things that improve the quality of life like parks, trails, and open space.
Instead, it’s essentially administrative labor time and some equipment.
Let’s all thank the dolts who voted in support of Proposition 47.

Dr Jellyfinger December 1, 2021 at 5:27 PM

Those funds are for “resources needed to address the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis and to spur a strong economic recovery”.

Sam December 1, 2021 at 5:23 PM

So now we see why they just let things happen. That’s a lot over overtime.

bingo December 2, 2021 at 3:33 PM

Spot on. That is a lot of cash and not much will change for the workers. “Get” to work a few extra shifts and double their salaries. See it all the time with CHP sitting around on freeways for extra patrols, road work or your local sports team parking controls. That is the biggest joke – taxpayers pay multiple CHP officers all $200+ an hour to direct traffic at the 49er game.

Original G December 1, 2021 at 5:41 PM

Anyone else tired of seeing politicians acting more like WOKE weather vanes on a barn than rational, responsible adults ? ? ?

Deb Shay December 2, 2021 at 10:09 AM

The visual of your comparison is hilarious. Thanks!

Citizen94596 December 1, 2021 at 6:05 PM

I totally support additional police, but I still question why the twelve or so officers that night only apprehended three individuals when the police department is a 20 second drive down the block!

Glen223 December 2, 2021 at 7:15 AM

Well, I’m sure that the entire department wasn’t just sitting in the building waiting for the phone to ring. The officers do have to cover a beat.

Ricardoh December 1, 2021 at 6:07 PM

They need to be able to block escape routes. Fast.

Martin December 1, 2021 at 11:01 PM

Yes, and what good are security cameras when everyone’s masked up? Drop the useless mask mandate and make the culprits show their faces.

Anon December 1, 2021 at 6:10 PM

Yeah, Whatever!
Your “Wokeness” created this monster…..now like typical communists, you’ll spend taxpayers money to fix YOUR mistakes.

It won’t be too long before Diana Soros Becton tries to charge people for Hate speech if they criticize her Failures.

Cellophane December 1, 2021 at 6:30 PM

I don’t care what the WC City Council does.

They and all the City Councils are pretty much the same.

Inept and corrupt.

I do like the idea of beefing up the Police Force.

If the stores downtown want better security perhaps they should pay for it.

Either way, the people will pay for it.

Now if there was a DA that could get tough on the criminals the Police catch.

Martin December 1, 2021 at 11:01 PM


escapehatch December 1, 2021 at 6:55 PM

Have the authorities considered that closing the adjacent streets will make you park farther away and become a target for getting mugged or your car broken into or carjacked?

WC Resident December 1, 2021 at 7:04 PM

Retailers and Broadway Plaza should be footing the bill, not the city of Walnut Creek. In this case, Nordstrom corporate is the one that left $200,000 of goods in easily accessible locations. I’m hoping insurance companies will also put the screws on retailers to better secure their goods.

@Ricardoh – a system that blocks escape routes could create problems if there is a fire or hazmat incident. Looters would soon learn to pull multiple fire alarms to ensure that all doors are in unlocked mode.

JRocks December 1, 2021 at 9:33 PM

WC, you want to add more cost to brick and mortar operations? At this rate there will be no more retail stores left. You want them to pay for police protection that they already pay for? You blame the retailer for having goods accessible? How about placing the blame on the pack of animals commiting these crimes.

You don’t want to spend the money? I can understand that. Just let me and my buddy Kyle protect Nordstroms. I am sure we could do it for less than $2 million.

TTD December 1, 2021 at 10:30 PM

@Walnut Creek resident – your comment made in your first paragraph must be a joke. This is not Nordstrom’s or other retail establishments fault. This is the direct result of CA’s soft on crime attitude and let’s defund the police polices. These politicians and voters cater to whatever the political climate is at any given moment. This same crime happened a year ago and what was the response? Nothing!!! Place the blame on those who caused this current environment – which is not the retailers

MikeT December 1, 2021 at 7:06 PM

Use the money and hire Inspector Harry Callahan, see if they feel lucky…

Bobo December 1, 2021 at 7:16 PM

Wait I thought they where pro defund the police. How did that work out, guess we know now. News flash police are not the problem.

The Fearless Spectator December 1, 2021 at 7:59 PM

The only reason we are seeing any action on this is because it received national news coverage, and elections are looming.

How abou this: Park a police cruiser at the 24 and 680 exits. Anyone with obscured, missing, or fraudulent plates are hooked up. Tow their cars to an impound yard in Fresno. With towing mileage and impound fees that will be a couple thousand dollar mistake.
Still want to be a criminal?

Martin December 1, 2021 at 11:03 PM

Fearless Spectator for mayor and sheriff

FredF December 1, 2021 at 8:45 PM

$1.6mil for 5 officers for 18 months? $213.7k ea per yr. Starting lateral transfer salary is $95k/yr. I understand support costs, equipment, training, etc. But $213k a yr. For one officer. A beat cop to patrol downtown Walnut Creek.

anon December 2, 2021 at 1:35 AM

They overpay police by a massive margin. Those police then do their very best to avoid violent criminals at any cost, and instead hassle law-abiding and peaceful citizens, to the give the appearance that the overpaid police are doing anything.

Note the rising violent crime rate, homeless encampments everywhere, mass robberies of retail stores with minimum-wage employees being assaulted and pepper sprayed, yet the cops are not there. The cops always elsewhere. They are there to collect and cash their $200,000 check, though, swollen with overtime.

Glen223 December 3, 2021 at 5:59 PM

Why should the police enforce the laws? They get harassed by the politicians, they get sued and harassed by the public, the DAs don’t file charges, they aren’t supported by their management, etc, etc…

No, they didn’t sign up to deal with that BS.

anon December 2, 2021 at 1:30 AM

Enforcing retail crime law against shoplifters disproportionately punishes people of color and is therefore defacto racist. Check your privilege.

Dr Jellyfinger December 2, 2021 at 8:03 AM

anon (I’m treating every anon as just one person)
Are you serious or just joking?
Nobody could be as pretzel brained as you pretend to be….
it’s a gag, right?

The Fearless Spectator December 2, 2021 at 8:52 AM

Governor Newsom is appalled at the lack of diversity among criminals. That’s why a year ago he put excessive lock downs in place. He figures by bankrupting small business owners and the lower middle class that he can improve the criminal diversity curve. “Full Stop” as he is proud of proclaiming.

Pete V. December 2, 2021 at 7:12 AM

Anyone actually watch the WC City Council special meeting yesterday? A 3+ hour circle-jerk perfectly exemplifying the empty rhetoric of leftist bureaucrats. Not one person with the honesty/balls to even mention the common theme about who these looters are or where they’re coming from. People were actually thanking WCPD for arresting a whopping THREE looters out of the NINETY who were there…Becton trying to sound tough while tap-dancing around the fact she can’t wait to reduce charges if not drop altogether. You white “progressives” are morons but also a treasure trove of comedy, keep up the great work.

Torcofuel December 2, 2021 at 8:27 AM

The Walnut Creek City council is a joke in itself they deserve what they get for all the stupid decisions they’ve made over the years. The mayor is a tool adding down specific special orders to the police department so they can’t do their jobs correctly, Walnut Creek city council members have their heads stuck so far up their butts trying to be so diverse and politically correct and non-racist they can’t even see straight and this is what happens and like I said they deserve what they get.
Move along people there’s absolutely nothing to see here folks the same old BS over and over

Glen223 December 3, 2021 at 11:27 AM

Meanwhile, the liberals are all silent.

You made your bed, now lie in it. I hope the voters see through their BS and kick them ALL to the curb when elections roll around.

Useless politicians.

Gittyup December 3, 2021 at 1:30 PM

I Love Popcorn was moving to Idaho, Wyoming, somesuch, the last I heard. When the going gets tough the liberals move on. Typical. The conservatives will stick around, pick up the pieces, and put things back together. We had an opportunity to change the course of things during the Recall, but liberals simply wanted more of the same. Well, they got it!

Anon December 3, 2021 at 3:04 PM

Sounds about right….they go where the police will protect them, the problem is that that always bring their poisons and pollute the other States.

Sam Malone December 2, 2021 at 8:24 AM

Only reason we are seeing action is elections are coming up. This is just literally window dressing. Get the bums out of office and get folks in who will do what is right and bring law and order back. I agree drop the mask mandate and put these continual losers behind bars permanently despite their loser sob stories. Listening BECTON and fellow liberals who do not care about us the over taxed without representation law abiding citizens. We are sick and tired of this crap.

Bruh December 2, 2021 at 9:18 AM

The people currently in city councils, mayors etc are all stuck in a completely different time.

This is not 2000 or 2010. Times have changed, and their attitudes and way of going about things is out of date and obsolete.

They all need to go. We can’t let people in these positions that think it’s still the same world as it was a decade ago. They lack critical thinking skills to adjust to the current world we live in and act accordingly. They’re incompetent and need to be replaced with people that aren’t delusional about reality.

MH December 2, 2021 at 2:17 PM

Sept 2020. Soft on crime Contra Costa district attorney, BECTON required prosecutors to consider looters needs when weighing criminal charges against them. FACT!

The Fearless Spectator December 4, 2021 at 12:00 PM

Absolutely absurd and true! However this time, there was national coverage. She seems more willing to prosecute when the coverage is national. It’s ironic as her policies are what put Walnut Creek on the national crime map. Now she will be forced to do some work.

If we can get rid of (recall) George Gascon and Chesa Boudin, then Becton will be next, and none to soon. Making Soros soft dollars go away will be a lot tougher.

Concord74 December 3, 2021 at 10:16 AM

Wilks is no better or committed than the previous regime! I do believe “Anon” is a troll and a race-baiter!
The ole proverbial “… closing the barn door after the horses have escaped..”! The police response is inept and held back by rules set-up by the WC council.

Glen223 December 3, 2021 at 11:07 AM

Boo effing hoo.

Walnut Creek politicians made their bed, now lie in it.

All of a sudden, Oakland and other cities are in a bidding war to try to get more police….as the officers bail out.

Who would want to hire on in any large city PD these days, given the politics?

You’re on your own. You want to pander to the idiot liberals, this is what you get. Then you pass more laws depriving citizens of their constitutional 2A rights. You reap what you sow….

Screw them.

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