The 58-year-old Ross posted a sign on his store window stating that customers are prohibited from covering their faces. He said the mask ban is necessary for the "safety of staff and assets of the store." He confessed that he himself was not a fan of the COVID-19 restrictions in the Golden State, including mask mandates.
While the entrepreneur also confessed to touching on controversial political topics on social media to boost business, his opposition to masks stemmed from the fact that thieves targeted his store and several others in the neighborhood with their faces covered.
In one instance, a store employee was threatened with scissors and two tourists had luggage stolen from their car.
"I was sick of people coming into this store [and shoplifting], and we can't get them from a lineup," lamented Ross. "They wear bucket hats [and] hoodies, and you can only see their eyes. You can't say that's the right person."
But the straw that broke the camel's back was when two women believed to be barred from Kitson due to shoplifting tried to enter the boutique once more. The women yelled at security guards that accosted them and told them to stay away, citing COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines. A fed-up Ross subsequently banned masks.
Crime rates in Beverly Hills had only risen marginally, but Ross pointed out that this is because many crimes go unreported.
"People don't want to report it, because it scares people from coming into your store," the Kitson owner said. "We're living in Gotham City, [and crime] is at an all-time level."
While Kitson was victimized by covert shoplifters, a convenience store in the city of Los Angeles fell victim to a "flash mob" of looters. Surveillance footage showed the brazenness of the criminals who targeted a 7-Eleven location in the city. (Related: Flash mob of looters ransack a convenience store in Los Angeles.)
Shortly after midnight of Aug. 15, a rowdy mob showed up at the 7-Eleven on Harbor Gateway. Some of the looters went behind the counter, which was apparently vacated by store employees, and flung items toward a pack of people near the entrance. The thieves did not even bother concealing their faces, which the surveillance footage captured.
Snacks, drinks, cigarettes, lottery tickets and other merchandise were among those pilfered from the store. Still unsatisfied with their loot, the criminals even vandalized the store and allegedly threw items at store employees.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said the looters quickly left the scene before law enforcement arrived. It urged the public to get in touch if they have any information that would lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.
In a statement, the LAPD defined a flash mob as "a large public gathering at which people perform an unusual or seemingly random act and then disperse, typically organized by means of the internet or social media." However, it pointed out that "flash mobs have turned from fun spontaneous events to opportunistic criminal occurrences."
Visit Collapsifornia.com for more stories about criminal activities in the Golden State.
Watch Harrison Smith of the "American Journal" discuss the crime wave in California below.
This video is from the Strategic Living By Design channel on Brighteon.com.