Organized crime or gangs could be behind a $300K L.A. ‘flash rob,’ police say

About 50 individuals who swarmed a Los Angeles mall Saturday and fled with high-end purses and different gadgets totaling about $300,000 might have been following orders from organized crime or gang members, police stated.

“There’s little doubt that there’s lots of … felony organizations behind this. A few of it entails gang members; a few of it entails individuals which might be what you’d determine as skilled retail thieves,” Deputy Los Angeles Police Chief Alan Hamilton advised NBC Information on Sunday. “It runs the gamut, and there’s a black marketplace for buying this stuff, sadly. … The similar individuals [are] then turning round and committing these acts once more, time and again.”

Thirty to 50 individuals converged on the Nordstrom retailer on the Westfield Topanga Mall in Woodland Hills, police stated. They made off with a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars}’ value of luxurious purses and high-end clothes, police stated. The decision of “quite a few individuals shoplifting,” police stated, got here shortly after 4 p.m.

Thieves ransack a Southern California mall on Aug. 12, 2023. (TNLA through NBC Los Angeles)

“Greater than 30 individuals entered the shop without delay and inside minutes grabbed greater than $300,000 value of merchandise from shows close to the doorway. The suspects ran from the shop, ransacking cabinets and show tables within the course of,” police stated in a press release Monday. “The suspects have been sporting ski masks and fled with high-end purses, clothes, and different simply re-sellable gadgets. One suspect, upon getting into the shop, sprayed bear spray on the face and physique of the safety guard on the entrance to the shop.”

Hamilton on Sunday detailed some ways criminals use in what police have dubbed “flash rob” thefts.

“The best way the sort of crime usually works, lots of the occasions they are going to already know the place they’re going to dump these items to,” he stated.

After having performed what are generally called smash-and-grabs, Hamilton stated, the thieves will do away with the stolen merchandise both at particular places or on-line inside hours.

“These items are going to be separated from the those who … have been concerned within the crime in a short time. They’re not going to be, you realize, maintaining it in locations for days or something like that,” he stated.

The identical Nordstrom retailer was hit with an identical shoplifting incident in 2021, throughout Black Friday, Hamilton stated.

No arrests have been introduced in Saturday’s thefts. The robbers took off in a BMW and different automobiles.

In video circulating on social media, individuals sporting hoods and masks that lined their faces tear down cabinets and run out of the shop carrying luxurious items.

On Tuesday, a really related theft occurred at an Yves Saint Laurent retailer on the Americana at Model mall in close by Glendale, NBC Los Angeles reported. Gadgets have been stolen earlier than thieves left in automobiles. Estimated losses totaled $300,000, the station stated.

Flash rob-style thefts are nothing new in California.

Six suspects have been arrested, together with three ladies ages 13, 14 and 15, in an alleged retail grand theft at a enterprise within the 2000 block of Fillmore Avenue in San Francisco on Thursday by a “massive group of suspects,” San Francisco police stated in a press release Monday. The opposite suspects have been no older than 20, police stated.

In 2021, communities all through California have been suffering from related quick-hitting thefts.  In November 2021, greater than a dozen individuals in Oak Brook, a Chicago suburb, have been recorded on safety video grabbing baggage and wiping cabinets clear at a Louis Vuitton retailer, police stated.

The worth of the stolen merchandise was estimated at $120,000, Oak Brook police stated.

This text was initially revealed on

Check Also

Georgia just obliterated Lucy McBath’s district. She says she’s not going anywhere.

Georgia Republicans simply shredded Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath’s suburban Atlanta district — however she says …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *