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VIDEO: Masked woman uses wire cutters to steal expensive purses attached to security leashes — and one store employee just helplessly watches

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Image source: KNBC-TV video screenshot

Yet another California retail store fell victim to shoplifters who likely were aware that employees were going to do nothing more than watch their lawlessness — and if police bother to get involved, that the worst they'd suffer are misdemeanors.

What are the details?

Lindsey Rodriguez and her husband shot video showing a woman using wire cutters to slice security leashes on expensive purses inside a Marshalls in Hemet, along with a man casually walking out of the store with his arms full of swiped clothing, KNBC-TV reported.

Image source: KNBC-TV video screenshot

The station said Rodriguez and her husband Pancho followed the purse thief outside, but the culprit ran to a dark-colored car that quickly drove off.

She called 911, KNBC said, but Hemet police said the officer who arrived a short time later and ran a license plate didn't see anyone suspicious.

Rodriguez is fed up.

"I worked every single day, 40 hours a week during this whole pandemic, and then I go in and see that, and it's disheartening," Rodriguez told KNBC-TV. "It's not Hemet."

Image source: KNBC-TV video screenshot

She added to the station that customers "were just kind of standing there watching. The only thing I figured I could do was get their identities and their license plates and give them to somebody who will do something with them."

Rodriguez noted to KNBC that while the Marshalls employees "sit there on the clock and have to watch these people just steal from everybody," she can't figure out why police said no one at Marshalls so far reported the crimes.

"What is this teaching our children?" she asked the station. "I don't want my kids to see that kind of stuff when we are going shopping at 7 o'clock at night."

KNBC said it reached out to Marshalls to find out why no one from the store reported the crimes to police, but the station said it did not hear back from the store.

'We need to start standing up for ourselves'

Rodriguez also told KNBC she's had it with these kinds of crimes, which is why she and her husband posted their videos on social media.

"Citizens have to do something," she added to the station. "We need to start standing up for ourselves because nobody else is doing it right now."

Anything else?

Brazen shoplifters caught on video doing their misdeeds — and getting away with them relatively easily — is becoming quite the phenomenon:

Thieves were caught on video stealing designer handbags from a Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco in July.

In June, a crook filled up a trash bag with merchandise from a Walgreens store in San Francisco and rode his bicycle right past a security guard who was recording the crime.

And after thieves casually strolled out of a T.J. Maxx store in suburban Los Angeles with armfuls of merchandise a few months back, LAPD Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz told KCBS-TV crooks appear to be "winning."

"They didn't even run out, they walked out," she noted to the station. "And so that's sending a message that we, the criminals, are winning." Sandoz added that "if they're caught, they're probably given the equivalent of a traffic ticket, so it's not taken seriously."

Under California's Proposition 47, passed in 2014, felony theft cases are reclassified as misdemeanors if the total amount stolen doesn't exceed $950.

This story has been updated.

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