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Flash robbers swarm another Los Angeles store, steal over $135K of goods

Click to play video: 'Smash and grab robberies impacting communities across the U.S.'
Smash and grab robberies impacting communities across the U.S.
There’s been an increase in the number of robberies nationwide since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that has lawmakers in the U.S. promising change. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass announced on Friday the formation of a new task force to combat retail crimes, saying nobody should feel unsafe while going shopping. – Aug 18, 2023

A large group of coordinated thieves ransacked a Los Angeles-area luxury clothing store on Tuesday and escaped with approximately US$100,000 (C$135,470) worth of merchandise, according to police.

The organized smash-and-grab-style robbery came only days after a crew of 30 to 50 people descended on a Nordstrom location in Los Angeles and made off with tens of thousands of dollars in luxury goods.

On Tuesday, about a dozen people in masks and monochrome black hoodies entered the denim retailer Ksubi in the Hancock Park neighbourhood of L.A., according to the local news outlet KTLA.

Shortly before the store’s scheduled closing time, the burglars scrambled to grab clothing off shelves and mannequins before fleeing the scene in prepared getaway cars, police said in a statement Thursday.

Two security guards in the store reportedly attempted to stop the robbery but were unsuccessful.

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Click to play video: 'Mob of thieves ransacks LA Nordstrom, stealing thousands of dollars worth in merchandise'
Mob of thieves ransacks LA Nordstrom, stealing thousands of dollars worth in merchandise

Police have not publicly identified any suspects. It is not clear if any arrests have been made.

This was only the latest of a string of “flash robberies” in Los Angeles. Earlier this month, a number of luxury stores were hit, including Yves Saint Laurent and Nike.

Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass and other law enforcement officials on Thursday morning declared the formation of a new task force to handle the surge of brazen group robberies. She hopes to find and charge not only the flash robbers, but their getaway drivers and resellers as well.

“Our message is clear. Those who commit these crimes will be caught, they will be held accountable, and we will work to address this issue,” said Bass. “No Angeleno should feel like it is not safe to go shopping in Los Angeles.”

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Bass has criticized the zero-dollar bail policy in L.A., which allows those who are charged with lower-level crimes like theft to be immediately released from jail without posting a cash bond.  The policy was enacted to keep the jail populations lower during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Canada, shoplifting and other forms of retail fraud have also been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. Soaring prices in grocery stores have also reportedly led to an increase in food theft.

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