Donald Trump has said that US federal police should summarily shoot shoplifters the moment they step outside any store they have robbed.
At an event in California, where big cities such as Oakland and San Francisco have for years been plagued by shoplifting, the former US president said that if re-elected next year, he would use federal law enforcement officers to tackle local crime.
“We will immediately stop all of the pillaging and theft very simply,” Mr Trump told the California Republican Party convention on Friday.
“If you rob a store, you can fully expect to be shot as you are leaving that store. Shot.”
The audience cheered his comments and burst into a chant of “Trump, Trump, Trump,” as he spoke at the event.
He is the runaway favourite to secure his Republican Party's nomination to run against Democrat President Joe Biden next year.
Mr Trump has previously encouraged police violence, telling officers in 2017: “Please don't be too nice” when making arrests.
He faces 91 criminal counts in four separate indictments alleging conspiracy, election interference and other acts that could see him end up in prison. He says the prosecutions are a political witch hunt.
Last week, Mr Trump suggested that Gen Mark Milley, who on Saturday retired from his position as the top US military officer, should be executed.
The remark came after Gen Milley said he had to phone Beijing on January 6, 2021, to reassure China that things were under control after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.
Gen Milley's action was “an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH", Mr Trump wrote.