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San Jose Officials Promise Crackdown on Smash-and-Grab Thieves

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- At a Wednesday news conference, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, the police department and the district attorney announced steps being taken in the South Bay to put pressure on the organized crime believed to be behind the latest robberies.

"We're not going to put up with it in San Jose," said Sgt. Christian Camarillo.

But San Jose isn't just talking tough when it comes to stopping the latest rash of retail crime.

"We are aware, we are watching and we will arrest you just like we did yesterday," Camarillo said.

SJPD patrol officers arrested two men from Hayward and Antioch as they tried to run from the Valley Fair Macy's after allegedly stealing $2,000 worth of perfume and cologne.

"I'm sure these guys as they were running out of Macy's did not expect the police to be right outside the doors, but guess what we were and we will continue to be out there," Camarillo said.

The suspects match the description of two robbers who earlier took a similar haul from the Oakridge Macy's.

"These are retail robberies with multiple people involved, often armed, extremely dangerous," said Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen.

Rosen is trying to keep the crimes from getting out of hand by setting extremely high bail amounts for suspects arrested for these crimes.

"For the two who were arrested so far, bail has been set at two million dollars. We're concerned that these are crimes of opportunity and when people get out they may just try it again, so we're doing all we can to keep them in custody," Rosen said.

Groups of robbers stole $40,000 in merchandise from Lululemon at Santana Row on Sunday night, and items worth thousands more from a sunglass store at Valley Fair the same night.

The Lululemon robbers were seen with at least one handgun.

The incident is making shoppers think twice about their safety, but not stopping them.

"I would just be more cautious of my surroundings and what's going on. I guess maybe not go at night if I could avoid it," said Erica Estrada of San Jose.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo says he's asking the city council for a quarter million dollars to expand license plate readers and other technology to help prevent and solve crimes.

"We're making it very clear, if you do it in Santa Clara County, you're going to get caught and you're going to get punished," Liccardo said.

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