The Los Angeles Police Department announced an investigation after about 30 to 50 robbers stormed a Nordstrom store at the Topanga Mall in the Canoga Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, and made off with an estimated $60,000 to $100,00 worth of merchandise.
The city's police department media relations division shared a video of the incident on X, and said its "officers were on the scene quickly and have several investigative leads." They added, "The LAPD will exhaust all efforts to bring those responsible into custody and seek criminal prosecution."
This theft took place at about 4 pm on Saturday.
"To criminals, it is just property taken," the department noted. "To those who live in the area and patronize the Topanga Mall, it is a loss of feeling safe."
Video of the incident shows a group dressed in all black rushing into the store, grabbing as much as they could, knocking over displays, and quickly exiting the store. Police added that bear spray was used on one of the security guards, and he was treated by paramedics.
According to Fox 11, this is the second time a "flash mob" has struck a Los Angeles store in the last week. The first was against a Yves Saint Laurent store in Glendale where the group made off with over $300,000 in merchandise before getting into waiting get-away cars.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the robberies are "unacceptable" in a statement. "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," she said.
Smash-and-grab robberies are on the rise across the country causing businesses to close their doors in places where retail theft is high. For Los Angeles, the increased crime comes as the police force is the smallest it has been since the 1990s.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Protective League said the force is having difficulty because they are "pulling officers from specialized gang assignments and high-crime areas and drug operations because you've got to fill patrol to be able to respond to those 911 calls, so this lack of officers has a trickle-down effect, and it's a city-wide impact." He added, "So, what happens is, victims of crime and businesses that maybe have been broken into and things of that nature, it just takes much, much longer for them to seek justice."
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