Eyewitness Newsmakers: LA County Sheriff Robert Luna talks zero-bail policy, retail thefts and more

ByMarc Brown and Kristie R Bihn KABC logo
Sunday, October 1, 2023
LA County Sheriff Luna talks zero-bail policy, retail thefts and more
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Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna has been on the job for nearly a year and he's faced several challenges during his short time in office. In the latest episode of Eyewitness Newsmakers, the sheriff discussed some of the top issues.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna has been on the job for nearly a year and he's faced several challenges during his short time in office. In the latest episode of Eyewitness Newsmakers, the sheriff discussed some of the top issues.

When it comes to fighting organized retail thefts, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department received a boost thanks to more than $15 million in funds from the state.

Sheriff Luna plans to use the added money to enhance response capabilities and investigative responsibilities. Luna called the crimes "unacceptable" and said he's committed to working with the business community. His department would also like to prosecute not only those who steal from retail stores, but also people who drive the suspects to the scene of the crimes and people who knowingly buy stolen goods.

As for residents who do not report crime because they believe the information will not lead anywhere, Sheriff Luna encouraged every crime victim to call law enforcement.

He said more than ever, his department focuses on data. That means if a crime is not reported, it's as if it never happened and resources may not be put in the right places.

Meanwhile, a controversial new zero-cash bail will take effect Oct 1. During Eyewitness Newsmakers, Sheriff Luna discussed the options available to deputies when it comes to criminals and addressed potential actions for suspects who are repeatedly arrested.

"It's frustrating, but what we're trying to do is give this new process a chance. I'm very concerned about it," he said.

Sheriff Luna did not discuss deputy gangs in depth, but called them "unacceptable." He's pushing for more training, and formed an office to work on policies moving forward.

As the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department copes with the ambush killing of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer, Sheriff Luna pushed back a bit about the death penalty not being pursued for the suspect.

The sheriff said he's not a big advocate for the death penalty, but believes suspects who ambush law enforcement should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, which includes the death penalty.

Watch Marc Brown's full interview with Luna in the media player above.