San Ramon police receive millions in grants to combat organized retail theft

The San Ramon Police Department received $5.6 million in grants to deter and fight against organized retail theft. 

San Ramon police said the grant will allow them to "implement a comprehensive strategy" through law enforcement and community participation. 

They will focus the funds on creating a dedicated team specializing in suppressing and preventing organized retail theft, updating the citywide camera network and adding more automated license plate readers and situational cameras. 

Enhancements to the city's drone programs will also be made. Funds will go towards increasing and improving San Ramon's educational program relating to organized retail theft prevention. 

Money is also allocated for improving the response time for police.

The announcement came Friday with several other cities receiving grants. The City of Oakland; however, received nothing after Oakland missed the application deadline to the dismay of many, including business owners and Oakland's NAACP chapter.

San Francisco received $17.3 million, the San Jose Police Department received $8.5 million, and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office received $2 million.

Back in March, a San Ramon jewelry store fell victim to a smash-and-grab holdup. Over $1 million worth of jewelry was stolen from Heller Jewelers. Five men, ranging in age from 30-35, were criminally charged for the theft.

"This significant achievement underscores our commitment to ensuring we maintain a safe and secure environment for every member and business within the San Ramon Community… with the rise in incidents of organized retail theft in recent years, we recognized the urgent need to implement targeted measures to mitigate the impact of organized retail theft within San Ramon," said San Ramon Chief of Police Denton Carlson in a statement.