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Crime Smash-and-grab thieves attack stores around the country, California security guard shot dead as crime rages

16:05  28 november  2021
16:05  28 november  2021 Source:   foxnews.com

Thieves Hit Bay Area Stores, Terrorize Staff for 3rd Straight Day Amid Shoplifting Spike

  Thieves Hit Bay Area Stores, Terrorize Staff for 3rd Straight Day Amid Shoplifting Spike A rash of brazen robberies have occurred in the area, all committed by groups of thieves. One group was said to have up to 80 people, according to a witness.Police said a group of suspects entered the athletic apparel store Lululemon in San Jose at approximately 6:30 p.m. Sunday and reportedly stole merchandise. A spokesperson for the police said no arrests were made and didn't provide further information.

Smash-and-grab looters targeted stores across the country ahead of Thanksgiving and over Black Friday weekend, robbing stores of thousands of dollars in merchandise and even leaving one California security guard dead as he tried to protect a news crew that was reporting on the crimes.

"We tried to stop them," Home Depot employee Luis Romo told FOX 11 of a "flash mob" targeting the store in Lakewood, California, on Black Friday. "We closed the front entrance and they put their sledgehammers up and whoever got in the way, they were going to hurt them."

The group of eight robbers stole hammers, crowbars and other tools, swiping about $400 worth of merchandise. Such tools have been used in other smash-and-grab robberies in the state, including in a Nordstrom in Walnut Creek, California, last week.

'Smash-and-grab' crimes: why some US cities are seeing a spree

  'Smash-and-grab' crimes: why some US cities are seeing a spree A spree of brazen "smash-and-grab" crimes has plagued upscale stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities, with mobs of thieves making off with luxury goods to resell.At least 18 people broke into a Nordstrom department store in Los Angeles Monday night and stole thousands of dollars in merchandise, the city's police chief said.

LA THIEVES ATTACK SECURITY GUARD IN CALIFORNIA'S LATEST SMASH-AND-GRAB

The robbers reportedly fled in cars waiting in the parking lot. Police stopped a car with no plates later that night and detained four individuals who may be tied to the robbery.

A group of five suspects stole about $25,000 in expensive purses from a Nordstrom store in the Westfield Topanga mall in Los Angeles on the eve of Thanksgiving. While a large group also entered a Bottega Veneta in the Beverly Grove section of Los Angeles on Friday and used a chemical agent against one person who tried to stop them as they stole high-end merchandise.

By late Friday evening, the Los Angeles Police Department was on a citywide tactical alert. The alert has since been lifted.

Timeline: Chronicling Recent Smash-and-Grab Robberies in LA, Bay Area Amid Crime Spike

  Timeline: Chronicling Recent Smash-and-Grab Robberies in LA, Bay Area Amid Crime Spike Many of the reported thefts have involved dozens of people who broke into stores and stole items while traveling in groups.Most of the thefts reported thus far have occurred at stores in the Bay Area and in Los Angeles. Several of the reported incidents have involved large groups of people rushing into stores and stealing products.

NEWSOM TELLS CALIFORNIA MAYORS TO 'STEP UP' AFTER MOB OF LOOTERS MAKE SIX-FIGURE NORDSTROM HEIST

In Monterey, a group of about four people stole an estimated $30,000 worth of sunglasses from a Sunglass Hut. In San Francisco, thieves between the ages of 14 and 18 took more than $20,000 from an Apple store in broad daylight on Wednesday.

The crimes have also poured into other areas in the country, including in Chicago where police say thieves threw a cinderblock through a Canada Goose store between midnight and 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and took merchandise. Three other smash-and-grabs unfolded in the city, where thieves targeted a Foot Locker, a North Face store and a cell phone store.

DOZENS OF SAN FRANCISCO AREA STORES, PHARMACIES HIT BY SMASH-AND-GRAB LOOTERS: 'HURTS US ALL'

It is unclear if the robberies are connected or how much merchandise was stolen. Chicago police are investigating.

Thieves attack security guard at Los Angeles Nordstrom in latest ‘flash mob’ robbery in California

  Thieves attack security guard at Los Angeles Nordstrom in latest ‘flash mob’ robbery in California The incident comes just days after similar incidents took place in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.A group of thieves attacked a security guard at a Nordstrom store in Los Angeles on Wednesday night before fleeing with an estimated $25,000 in merchandise, police said.

In suburban Minneapolis, a large group of at least 30 people targeted a Best Buy in Burnsville, while a group of 10-12 people, including juveniles, targeted another Best Buy in Maplewood. No one has been arrested in connection to the incidents as of Saturday and there are no estimates on how much merchandise was stolen.

"Across the board, retailers are getting more concerned with this growing trend. … It is definitely a tough problem to solve, given the organized nature and number of people involved in many of the incidents," Chris Walton, a former Target executive who co-leads retail blog and podcast Omni Talk, said of the incidents, according to Star Tribune.

The most tragic incident unfolded in California, when an Oakland security guard was fatally shot during an armed robbery while protecting a news crew covering a previous smash-and-grab theft.

SAN FRANCISCO GUARD, A FORMER COP, SHOT AND KILLED PROTECTING NEWS CREW COVERING A SMASH-AND-GRAB

"It is with the deepest sadness that I let you know security guard Kevin Nishita has passed away," said Mark Neerman, vice president of news and news director at KPIX. "He died protecting one of our own, a colleague reporting on the very violence that took his life. I know you join me in sending condolences to his family and in sending thanks to Kevin for standing up for us all."

California Home to 3 of 10 Worst Cities for Retail Crime as Smash and Grabs Plague State

  California Home to 3 of 10 Worst Cities for Retail Crime as Smash and Grabs Plague State Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento are among the cities most highly-affected by retail crime, which could worsen this holiday season.According to the National Retail Federation, three California cities are among the 10 most-affected cities for organized retail crime. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento are bracing for a difficult holiday shopping season as robberies known as "smash-and-grabs" have increased around the state.

He was shot in the abdomen during an attempted robbery of KRON-TV’s camera equipment on Wednesday and later died from his injuries.

3 SUSPECTS IN CUSTODY AFTER SMASH-AND-GRAB ROBBERY AT NORDSTROM STORE AT THE GROVE, LAPD SAYS

Nishita was a San Jose police officer from 2001-2012 and was working as an armed guard for Star Protection Agency at the time of his death. He leaves behind his wife, two children and three grandchildren. A reward of $32,500 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in the killing.

Smash-and-grab robberies have plagued California in the last week, with most of the incidents occurring in stores near San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In Walnut Creek, which is located about 25 miles from SF, roughly 80 looters stormed a Nordstrom and took somewhere between $100,000 to $200,000 in merchandise, according to police.

Mobs of thieves ransacked at least two dozen San Francisco area businesses over last weekend.

"At least two dozen businesses were impacted," Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong told CBS SF. "Roving caravans of vehicles, targeting cannabis operations, retail shops, pharmacies, throughout the city of Oakland."

The crimes 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."

How law enforcement is trying to stop mob retail thefts

  How law enforcement is trying to stop mob retail thefts With in-store customers expected to return in droves for the holiday shopping season, law enforcement agencies are moving to halt a wave of organized "smash-and-grab" crimes at retailers across the US. © Santa Rosa Police Department Stills from surveillance footage of a new smash and grab robbery that occurred Wednesday, 11/24/21, in Santa Rosa, California, at the Apple Store in the Santa Rosa Plaza. Hand out stills from the Santa Rosa Police Department. In Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities, police departments are increasing patrols at retailers targeted by mobs of thieves in brazen raids.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on California mayors to "step up" and hold the mobs of shoplifters to "account" following the repeated crimes.

"I'm not the mayor of California, but I was a mayor, and I know when things like this happen, mayors have to step up," Newsom said Monday at a vaccine clinic in the Mission District of San Francisco. "That’s not an indictment. That’s not a cheap shot."

"These people need to be held to account," Newsom added. "We need to investigate these crimes. We need to break up these crime rings. We need to make an example out of these folks."

In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed announced that the city will limit car access ahead of holiday shopping season to the city’s popular shopping district, Union Square, in response to the mobs of thieves.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 17: San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a news conference outside of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with essential workers to mark the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown on March 17, 2021 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has some of the lowest number of coronavirus cases and death rates in the country with only 422 deaths in a city with a population near 900,000. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 17: San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a news conference outside of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with essential workers to mark the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown on March 17, 2021 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has some of the lowest number of coronavirus cases and death rates in the country with only 422 deaths in a city with a population near 900,000. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Some police and retailers pointed to California’s Proposition 47 for the increase in crimes, which reduced shoplifting charges regarding the theft of $950 or less from felonies to misdemeanors.

In 2018, state legislators passed a temporary law in response to complaints surrounding the law, which established a new crime of organized retail theft. A California Highway Patrol task force was also created to help assist areas with high instances of such crimes. The law expired at the start of this year, however, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"I think what happens now is there's no accountability for it anymore, and the liability for the stores if they try to apprehend these guys. They just stand by and watch," Steve Reed, a retired police officer and the former head of security at Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento, told ABC 10.

Epidemic of smash-and-grab crime is definitely man-made .
While many politicians still call for “reimagining policing,” that imagination does not extend to seeing a cause-and-effect with rising crime levels. Instead, it is the Loki effect of ... the pandemic.The fact is that most criminals are rational actors who make a calculus of risk in the commission of offenses. The mobs hitting stores like Bloomingdales are organized gangs. Even shoplifters stealing from stores like Costco and Target are known to quickly sell the goods on the internet through fences.

usr: 3
This is interesting!