Saturday, May 25, 2024

East L.A. Nike store hit by grab-and-dash thieves, the latest in series of daytime robberies

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A group of thieves were captured on video stealing boxes of shoes and other items from a Nike store in East Los Angeles on Sunday, the latest in a string of smash-and-grab thefts carried out during regular business hours.

A man and woman can be seen scrambling with a handful of shoe boxes in a video posted to the Citizen app and reported by KTLA-TV. The theft was reported to the East Los Angeles sheriff’s station at 5:36 p.m. and roughly $1,000 in miscellaneous shoes were stolen, according to Deputy Maria Lucero with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Lucero could not confirm if any arrests were made in the incident at the Nike Community Store on Whittier Boulevard but said a detective will likely be assigned to the incident.

The incident seems to be the latest in a series of flash-mob robberies, which involve a group of people who ransack a business, often with little attempt to conceal their identities.

The daytime theft in East Los Angeles comes just one day after 30 to 50 people participated in a robbery at the Westfield Topanga Shopping Center. Dozens of people ransacked the Nordstrom store on Saturday and used bear spray to target security workers while they made off with the goods, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The suspects left in sedans without license plates. Police estimated losses to be between $60,000 and $100,000.

There were no injuries, according to a customer service representative who was unable to provide further details Saturday.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called the Nordstrom robbery “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Those who committed these acts and acts like it in neighboring areas must be held accountable,” she said in a statement. “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.”

In a similar incident, another group of thieves who robbed the same Nordstrom attacked a security guard with bear spray in November 2021.

At the Americana at Brand in Glendale, 30 to 40 people stormed the Yves Saint Laurent store on Aug. 8. The group drove away in about 20 vehicles with roughly $300,000 worth of merchandise, according to the Glendale Police Department.

On Aug. 1, the Gucci store at the Westfield Century City Mall was also hit by at least nine people.

Staff writer Thomas Curwen contributed to this report.

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