Watch CBS News

Residents Sound Off About California $0 Bail During Coronavirus

YUCAIPA (CBSLA) -- Plans to relieve overcrowding inside jails by setting some low-level offenders free is concerning people in the community.

Dustin Evans, a suspected thief in San Bernardino County who one woman says she caught on camera stealing her Louis Vuitton purse, could soon walk free under that policy.

"He's just gonna keep doing it because it's allowed right now," the victim, identified only as Krystal, said.

The state of California mandated no-bail for low-level misdemeanor and felony arrests to help slow the spread of coronavirus inside jails and some law enforcement officials don't agree with the decision.

"The effects of zero-bail on the county could be devastating," said San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon.

McMahon said the mandate is not in the best interest of the community.

"[It] may further embolden criminals to commit crimes," he said.

Krystal, who works in healthcare, says this move shows that the judicial system is prioritizing the health of accused criminals over people on the front lines of the coronavirus.

"Here I am on the front lines, working in a medical office and they have this kid who just robbed me for thousands of dollars is gonna be let go," she said.

While overall crime has decreased across California during Stay-at-Home orders, some communities are starting to report spikes in property damage.

Riverside County just released Christopher Lewis on a $0 bail schedule after he was arrested for allegedly stealing motorcycles and committing a felony while out on bail.

There are some exceptions to this no-bail policy, including arrests for serious violent offenses, including some sex offenses, domestic violence and DUI causing injury.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.