Smash-and-grab mobs targeted retail shops across the country this weekend, getting away with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and leaving one security guard dead in California.
At One Point, LAPD Even Declared a Citywide Tactical Alert
A Home Depot store in Lakewood, California, was robbed on Black Friday. The eight-strong group of robbers got away with crowbars, hammers, and other hand tools they will probably use in their subsequent attacks.
Five robbers grouped up and took around $25,000 worth of luxury purses from a Nordstrom store in Los Angeles on the eve of Thanksgiving. Another large group injured a person trying to stop them from robbing a Bottega Veneta store in Beverly Grove, LA. The crime series has prompted LAPD to declare a citywide tactical alert. The alert has since been lifted.
In Monterey, a flash mob got away with an estimated $30,000 worth of merchandise from a Sunglass Hut. An Apple Store in San Francisco was hit in broad daylight on Wednesday by a group of teenage thieves who took more than $20,000.
California Security Guard Died From a Gunshot Wound While Trying to Prevent an Armed Robbery
The most tragic incident unfolded in Oakland, California, when a security guard was shot and killed during an armed robbery. He was protecting a news crew covering a previous flash mob theft. Kevin Nishita was a retired police officer and was providing security for many reporters in the region after his retirement.
Small Businesses Are at Risk
While the large retail chains can afford losses, the latest spike in organized mass thefts puts small businesses in danger of bankruptcy. With the covid-induced financial crisis that forced 4.2 million of them to ask for emergency loans from SBA, they can’t afford more problems.