Flash mob smash-and-grabs continue at high-end stores in Los Angeles

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Flash mob thefts continued in Los Angeles as organized groups grabbed expensive merchandise in pre-Thanksgiving raids on stores at Beverly Center and a Nordstrom in Canoga Park.

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A security guard was attacked with bear spray as he entered Nordstrom at Westfield Topanga and The Village Shopping Center in Konoga Park on Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.

In interviews with local TV stations, LAPD deputy chief Alan Hamilton said the thieves worked with several high-end wallets.


Hamilton told CBS Los Angeles that additional officers had been deployed to the shopping center but the thieves managed to escape.


The LAPD was also investigating a similar incident in which groups broke into several stores in Beverly Center on Wednesday, grabbed merchandise and fled.

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The news release said that officials are looking for clues to nab the people involved.

The break-ins came two days later when an organized group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise by breaking into a window at a Nordstrom in the Grove Mall.

Los Angeles police arrested three suspects in connection with that incident. Officers recovered several clothes, at least one cash register and gloves from the suspects’ vehicle.

On Tuesday, LAPD chief Michelle Moore told the police commission that the department would dedicate patrolling and resources to some high-end locations to stem the wave of mob thefts.

In another burglary on Monday, six men entered a CVS pharmacy on the 5800 block of South Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles and stole three cash registers carrying about $8,500 in cash, police said.

On Sunday, thieves used a sledgehammer to try to break into the front windows of a store at a Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills.

According to the police, they were unable to enter the shops, and nothing was taken away.

In Contra Costa County, Dist. Atti. Diana Becton announced Wednesday that three people have been arrested and charged in a burglary in which nearly 90 people attacked Nordstrom in Walnut Creek on November 20 using three different entrances.

A criminal complaint states that by parking 25 cars in front of the store, the group stole more than $100,000 in about a minute.

The complaint states that one Nordstrom employee was sprayed with pepper, another was attacked with a knife, and two were stabbed or punched.

Dana Dawson, 30, Joshua Underwood, 32, and Rodney Robinson, 19, were arrested by the Walnut Creek Police Department and charged with conspiracy, theft, robbery, and organized retail theft.

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