California officials announced earlier this week that they planned to crack down on “smash and grab” robberies and flash-mob-style looting after several recent incidents up and down the state.
But apparently not everyone got the message.
At least two such incidents took place in Los Angeles County on Black Friday, according to reports.
In Lakewood, a group of suspects, ages 15 to 20, stormed a Home Depot store around noon. 20.30 and grabbed tools like the koben, hammers and sledgehammers before escaping in vehicles waiting outside, FOX 11 in Los Angeles reported.
An entire section of hammers was completely cleared out, Los Angeles County sheriffs’ deputies told the station.
As many as 10 vehicles stopped outside the store and the thieves put on ski masks before starting their trip, KCBS-TV in Los Angeles reported.
EXPERTS SAY TO SAME AND GRAPE THEFT A PART OF LACK OF PURSUIT OF CRIMINALS, TOLERATED BY EMBERS
The theft gave rise to fears that the stolen tool would be used to commit more robberies in other stores in the area, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told the station.
The Lakewood incident remained under investigation, FOX 11 reported.
Also Friday, in the Beverly Grove part of Los Angeles, a large group walked into a Bottega Veneta store and used pepper spray against some who tried to stop them while grabbing advanced merchandise there, the station reported.
It was unclear how the suspects were able to enter the store or whether police made any arrests. reported the station.
Earlier this week, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore told the city’s police commission that an increased police presence would be in place with city limits on Black Friday to combat “smash and grab” robberies and flash mob crimes that have hit California and elsewhere in in recent weeks.
The LAPD planned to “dedicate resources to some of these advanced sites to deter further violence,” Moore told the panel Tuesday. according to FOX 11.
‘We are all victims’
Also on Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called such crimes “unacceptable” during an interview with FOX 2 in the Bay Area.
Like Moore in Los Angeles, Newsom promised a stronger police presence for other parts of the state.
“Everyone needs to sharpen things up,” Newsom said. “We need to see more law enforcement, see more deterrents, more presence. You’ve seen more, you want to see even more cogeneration [California Highway Patrol] officers on the roads. “
Newsom claimed that back in July, he was working with mayors and police chiefs from 13 cities in the state on a plan to combat retail theft.
NEWSOM TELLS CALIFORNIA’S MAYOR TO ‘STEP UP’, AFTER MOB BY PLYVERE MADE SKS-FIGURED NORDSTROM HEIST
Despite recent incidents in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, Newsom insisted that state authorities have made “hundreds of arrests” and recovered “tens of millions of dollars” during that time. He promised that the intensified police effort would continue.
“You’re going to see it in and around major malls and centers, and you will continue to work together to address these organized efforts and call them out,” Newsom told FOX 2. “They must be held accountable. This is unscrupulous behavior. Its impact is far beyond the victim: the business. We are all victims because there is a level of mistrust, a lack of confidence in public safety that is inherent in what “We need to be more aggressive.”
“This is unscrupulous behavior. Its impact is far beyond the victim: the business. We are all victims because there is a level of mistrust, a lack of confidence in public safety.”
According to FOX 11, other recent incidents in the Los Angeles area have included:
On Wednesday, suspects walked into several stores in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles and ran off with goods.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Also Wednesday, suspects attacked a security guard and stole about $ 25,000 in handbags from a Nordstrom store in Canoga Park.
In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed also recently announced plans to combat violent retail crimes. The plan includes new restrictions on how vehicles can access the city’s Union Square shopping district, Breed said last Saturday.
The San Francisco area has also seen recent flash mob-style robberies at a Louis Vuitton store in the city and a Nordstrom store in Walnut Creek, a suburb about 40 miles east of the city.