Two men were charged on Friday for allegedly stealing firearms from the Los Angeles residence of Democratic Rep. Karen Bass.
Patricio Munoz, 42, and Juan Espinoza, 24, were both charged with one felony count of first-degree residential burglary and two counts of grand theft of a firearm. The two men are expected to be arranged on Friday afternoon.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office reported that the two defendants broke into Ms. Bass’s home and stole two handguns, while leaving other valuables, including money, behind.
“It’s unnerving, and unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” Ms. Bass said in a statement.
District Attorney George Gascón said gun thefts increased in the city since the pandemic, which he also cited as having contributed to rising crime.
“Everyone deserves to be safe in their home,” Mr. Gascón said. “Many of these stolen guns are then used to commit violent crimes.”
Ms. Bass is currently running for mayor of Los Angeles against real estate developer Rick Caruso in a runoff election to replace current Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is term-limited.
Ms. Bass said the incident caused her safety to be “shattered,” while previously asserting that she had felt safe walking around in Los Angeles, despite its rising crime surge.
In Congress, Ms. Bass has advocated and voted for bills to increase federal gun control and get illegal firearms off the streets.
As to her own guns, Ms. Bass told Fox 11 she keeps them for personal protection.
“I had guns for personal safety, as do many people,” she said. “I think that gun control is extremely important. But I never believed that people — if they wanted to have guns — should not have them.”
Ms. Bass has stressed public safety as a top priority in her campaign.
Her resistance to the “Defund the Police” movement has given her mixed perception, with local Black Lives Matter groups saying her stance was enough not to back her for mayor.
“We each left knowing that if she went down that road, she was not going to have our support,” said Greg Akili, one of the Los Angeles-area Black Lives Matter leaders.
Ms. Bass previously referred to “Defund the Police” as being “probably one of the worst slogans ever.”
If elected, Ms. Bass would be the first woman and the second Black person to become mayor of Los Angeles.
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