Trump claims mobs of 500 raid stores to steal air conditioners

Former President Trump stepped up his claims about rampant crime during a campaign stop Friday, alleging without evidence that mobs were stealing large appliances en masse from department stores without law enforcement action.

“You go into some of these big stores, 500 people go into the stores, they come out with air conditioners — they strip the whole store,” Trump said during a spontaneous interview lasting nearly a year. hour. address to Turning Point Action in Arizona while denouncing the policies of the Biden administration. “The company is going bankrupt, the store has been vacant for 25 years. The entire city becomes a slum.

Trump and President Biden will likely meet in what has become a neck to neck revenge of their 2020 election battle when voters go to the polls on November 5. Both traveled the country explaining why each would be better for the country in the future.

When The Hill asked the Trump campaign for more information about his remarks in Arizona, a spokesperson directed the outlet to reports of thefts of residential HVAC systems and reports of “pack thefts” that have hit the cities.

“Thieves continue to steal HVAC units. He could offer them $100 to “go away.” a media outlet reported on contractors who had multiple HVAC unit components stolen from job sites in Virginia.

“Why stealing an air conditioner is more serious than you think,” the campaign sent a link to another report on residential HVAC unit thefts, this time in Texas.

Trump has leaned heavily on inflation, immigration and crime. He blamed his successor, Biden, for each of these problems, despite statistics showing a strong economy.

This is not the first time that the former president has mentioned massive waves of uncontrolled thefts of large household appliances from department stores.

He alleged that “gangs of hundreds of youths” regularly “attack” department stores and make off with “big stuff” like refrigerators and air conditioners, during the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum in Indianapolis last year.

“For example, when you see these gangs of hundreds of young people, usually young people, attack a department store, department stores in San Francisco, in Los Angeles and in Chicago, and they rush in by the hundreds and flee carrying goods refrigerators and transporting air conditioners and large items,” he said.

Such “pack robberies,” as Trump often describes them, have been associated with smaller but organized crimes targeting expensive cosmetics, designer clothing and other luxury items. Images of package thefts targeting small retail establishments and pharmacies have also occasionally spread on social media, but experts generally agree that shoplifting is a problem that is often exaggerated.

Trump’s tough-on-crime rhetoric has remained consistent even as he was sentenced on 34 federal charges last week relating to business records allegedly falsified during the 2016 presidential election to conceal an affair with a…

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