Smash-And-Grabs Prompt Powerful Security Presence at Valley Fair, Santana Row When Holidays Are Close - CBS San Francisco | MCU Times

Smash-And-Grabs Prompt Powerful Security Presence at Valley Fair, Santana Row When Holidays Are Close – CBS San Francisco

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – With the Christmas shopping season about to begin, police and security presence was heavy in the Westfield Valley Fair Mall and across the street at Santana Row, in the wake of a series of disturbing retail robberies across the Bay Area.

“It’s scary, it’s scary to go to work sometimes,” Indochino’s assistant manager Martin Torres told KPIX 5. “We see security outside the mall. They block and block certain roads and even entrances to parking structures. There was a Macy’s “There was a Lululemon, a Bloomingdale’s. There were many places.”

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Armed guards were pinned to store entrances on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, two days before Black Friday – one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

San Jose police parked their cars outside stores and patrolled on foot and with four-wheeled vehicles in both malls.

A San Jose Police Cruiser parked outside the Westfield Valley Fair Mall in San Jose on November 24, 2021. (CBS)

A San Jose Police Cruiser parked outside the Westfield Valley Fair Mall in San Jose on November 24, 2021. (CBS)

On Wednesday, nearly all Bay Area County District Attorneys, including Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, announced they would work together to impose harsher punishments on suspects being caught robbing retail stores.

At a news conference, Rosen spoke of two suspects, Dwayne Huntley and Raheem Lewis, who were arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing perfume and cologne worth thousands of dollars from Valley Fair and Westfield Oakridge Mall in South San Jose this week.

The couple are now charged with theft and burglary.

“For the two who have been arrested so far, the bail was set at $ 2 million,” Rosen said. “We are concerned that this is a crime of opportunity, and when people come out, they might try again. So we are doing everything we can to keep them in custody.”

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“We are aware we are watching, we are responding and we will arrest you just as we did yesterday,” San Jose Police Sgt. Christian Camarillo.

In the past week, organized crime rings have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise from department stores and small businesses up and down the Bay Area, including Oakland, San Francisco, Hayward, Palo Alto and San Jose.

Many shoppers in San Jose said they planned to be in and out of the mall quickly because they feared being inside a store during a cheeky retail robbery, including Tiffany Ho.

“We have to pick something up, that’s why we need to be here, but we’ll try to make it short,” Ho said.

Letty McKenzie said her daughter was planning to go to Union Square the same day that a crew of robbers attacked a Louis Vuitton store.

“You feel like what you’re doing as a mom,” McKenzie said. “And then you will not even go because you feel insecure.”

On Sunday, more than $ 40,000 worth of merchandise was stolen at Lululemon in Santana Row. The store is across the street from where Torres works inside the Valley Fair.

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“It worries me, it concerns our team, I’ve talked to the security guard at this place, they’re all aware of it, and we do not know what to do about it,” Torres said.

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