Smash-and-grab thieves were up and running again California on the threshold of Thanksgiving.
A group of five suspects stole about $ 25,000 in expensive purses from a Nordstrom store in the Westfield Topanga Mall in Los Angeles Wednesday evening. They assaulted and used bear spray on a security guard during the smash-and-grab, police said.
“It’s unfortunate because these people who are here are just trying to shop for the holidays [and] for their families, “said LAPD Deputy Chief Alen Hamilton, according to CBS LA. “We deployed extra officers here. It happened that this was part of the mall where they were able to get in and out, even with our officers deployed here.”
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The police force deployed extra officers to the mall after a series of mob theft attacks in the state in recent days, but the thieves targeted Nordstrom at a time when no officers were nearby, the store reported.
The security guard was treated by paramedics and is expected to be in order after the attack.
At least one suspect was described as wearing an orange wig during the robbery.
The suspects seized seven to eight purses and fled in a newer model gray Ford Mustang, ABC 7 reported.
The incident comes after a group of twenty smashed windows with one hammer and other tools at a Nordstrom store in a luxury mall called The Grove late Monday in Los Angeles. Officers chased an SUV involved in the crime. Three arrests have been made.
The owner of The Grove, Rick Caruso, criticized the management in California for the widespread retail theft crimes in the state.
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“I think it’s a manifestation of weak leadership. I think it’s a manifestation of some really bad decisions that our leaders have made. It’s a manifestation that we want to defuse the police,” Caruso said. according to CBS LA.
Gov. Gavin Newsom urged mayors in his state to “step up” and hold the mob of shoplifters targeting retailers to “account” earlier this week after dozens of stores were hit by crime in the San Francisco area.
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“I’m not the mayor of California, but I was mayor, and I know when things like this happen, mayors have to step in,” Newsom said Monday at a vaccine clinic in the Mission District of San Francisco. “It’s not an accusation. It’s not a cheap shot.”
The San Francisco area experienced back-to-back looting of mob last weekend, which targeted a Nordstrom, a Louis Vuitton, pharmacies, marijuana dispensaries and other retail outlets.
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In Walnut Creek, located about 25 miles from San Francisco, about 80 looters stormed a North Stream and took somewhere between $ 100,000 and $ 200,000 in merchandise, according to police. Three people have been arrested in connection with the robbery.
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The crimes have also extended to San Jose, about 50 miles from San Francisco, where at least four people stole $ 40,000 from a Lululemon in an incident described by police as “organized robbery.”