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‘Mob’ of nearly 50 shoplifters steal $130K in luxury goods from L.A. mall

A mob of up to 50 thieves targeted a Nordstrom department store in Los Angeles over the weekend, getting away with US$60,000 to US$100,000 in merchandise – Aug 14, 2023

About 30 to 50 people, described as a “mob of criminals” by California police, descended on a Nordstrom location in Los Angeles and made off with tens of thousands of dollars in luxury goods.

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The seemingly co-ordinated burglary occurred Saturday at around 4 p.m. local time at the Topanga Mall, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) wrote in a social media post.

Police also posted video footage of the shoplifting spree, showing dozens of individuals wearing hoods and masks toppling display shelves and running out of the store with high-end clothing and handbags.

The LAPD estimated that about US$60,000 to US$100,000 worth of goods were stolen, which equates to about C$80,000 to C$130,000.

“To criminals, it is just property taken,” the LAPD wrote. “To those who live in the area and patronize the Topanga Mall it is a loss of feeling safe.”

The group of shoplifters were able to overcome two security guards posted at the Nordstrom by using bear spray on them, the LAPD said, according to NBC. The outlet also reported that the robbers fled in a BMW and other vehicles.

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As of Monday, no arrests have been made, though the LAPD stated that it has “several investigative leads” and will “exhaust all efforts to bring those responsible into custody.”

On Sunday, L.A. Mayor Karen Bass said the robbery was “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Those who committed these acts and acts like it in neighboring areas must be held accountable. The Los Angeles Police Department will continue to work to not only find those responsible for this incident but to prevent these attacks on retailers from happening in the future.”

On Tuesday, a very similar robbery took place in Glendale, just north of downtown Los Angeles, which police described as a “flash mob burglary.”

At least 30 people “flooded” an Yves Saint Laurent store and grabbed about US$300,000 worth of luxury goods before fleeing, police wrote in a news release.

Glendale police characterized flash mob burglaries as involving “a large, coordinated group of individuals simultaneously rushing into the store, overwhelming staff, and taking it over. The suspects grab as much merchandise as possible before fleeing in multiple vehicles.”

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