US Groups of thieves target two high-end stores in California
Smash-and-grab thieves attack stores around the country, California security guard shot dead as crime rages
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.
Groups of thieves stole goods from two high-end stores in California on Wednesday, according to officials, the latest in a series of similar crimes in a few US cities.
In Los Angeles, at least five people went inside the Nordstrom store in Canoga Park and stole items that included seven or eight expensive purses,
During the robbery, the suspects assaulted and pepper-sprayed a security guard, Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said. At least one of the suspects was wearing an orange wig, KABC reported. CNN has reached out to the LAPD for more information.
String of Thefts at High-End San Francisco Stores Have Officials Wary of Coordinated Effort
After several robberies at high-end stores around San Francisco, law enforcement officials are growing concerned about the trend of "flash mob robberies."According to The Associated Press, law enforcement officials believe the thefts to be the work of organized crime networks recruiting young people to steal valuable merchandise, then sell it online.
Also Wednesday, police said at least four people stole $20,000 worth of merchandise from an Apple store in Santa Rosa, which is located about 55 miles north of San Francisco.
"In a brazen daytime burglary in front of customers and staff, the suspects grabbed over $20,000 worth of merchandise from the store and fled the area in an unknown vehicle," Santa Rosa police said in a statement.
The suspects were between the ages of 14 and 18 and wore masks, police said.
The thefts come amid a recent wave of "smash-and-grab" crimes.
On Monday, at least 18 peopledepartment store at the Grove in Los Angeles and stole thousands of dollars in merchandise, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. Three people were arrested, he said.
In the San Francisco Bay Area,swarmed the Southland Mall in Hayward on Sunday evening, wielding hammers to smash cases at a jewelry store before grabbing items and fleeing. And east of San Francisco, three suspects were arrested Saturday night after a mob ransacked a Nordstrom department store in Walnut Creek.
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.
In suburban Chicago, 14 people barged into a Louis Vuitton store last week and fled with more than $100,000 in handbags and other merchandise.
The origins and evolution of Black Friday: A tale of speculation and greed .
The term Black Friday has had many metamorphoses over the years, going from a speculative gold scheme to a Philadelphia stampede to a retailer boon . As shopping technology advances, Black Friday may once again evolve into a new meaning. 1/13 SLIDES © Brian Hill, AP A socially distanced line of customers wait to shop at Bath & Body Works during Black Friday shopping outdoors at Deer Park Town Center Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, in Deer Park, Ill.