A video has gone viral showing roughly 50 thieves ransacking a Nordstrom store in Los Angeles, California — making off with $100,000 in merchandise in the brazen robbery in the middle of the day.
The robbery took place at the Westfield Topanga Mall in the Canoga Park neighborhood of Los Angeles at around 4:15 p.m. on Saturday.
As customers and store employees looked on helplessly, a swarm of around 50 smash-and-grab thieves — wearing all black, along with hoods and masks — stole high-priced luxury clothing and handbags, some of which were still attached to display cases that were being dragged behind the thieves as they fled the store.
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 13, 2023
Speaking with local news outlet KABC, one witness said: “I really didn’t understand at first what was going on and then I recognized what was really happening when all the security… everybody was going to the one area.”
Reports indicate that the thieves doused at least one security guard with pepper spray or bear spray during the robbery. The guard was treated at the scene by paramedics after the incident.
According to police, the thieves escaped with up to $100,000 in merchandise in multiple cars — including a BMW and a Lexus.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) released a statement following the robbery.
“To criminals, it is just property taken. To those who live in the area and patronize the Topanga Mall, it is a loss of feeling safe. The LAPD will exhaust all efforts to bring those responsible into custody and seek criminal prosecution,” the statement read.
To those who live in the area and patronize the Topanga Mall it is a loss of feeling safe. The LAPD will exhaust all efforts to bring those responsible into custody and seek criminal prosecution.
— LAPD PIO (@LAPDPIO) August 13, 2023
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass (D) also issued a statement about the robbery.
“What happened today at the Nordstrom in the Topanga Mall is absolutely unacceptable,” her statement read. “Those who committed these acts and acts like it in neighboring areas must be held accountable. 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.”
LAPD has not yet arrested any suspects, though they claim to have several leads. Anyone who has any information about the smash-and-grab robbery is being asked to send an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or online via www.lacrimestoppers.org.
This incident comes as smash-and-grab robberies have become more prevalent in California, in part because of Proposition 47 — a law approved by voters in 2014 that made theft of merchandise under $950 a misdemeanor that is often not even investigated, let alone prosecuted. Criminals have taken advantage of the state refusing to prosecute many crimes, and businesses have been forced to implement extreme security measures — including locking up their products and hiring private security guards.
Security guard at a Safeway in San Francisco says he sees about 100 people shoplift a day during his shifts. Lawlessness in SF and California as no one goes to jail as long as you don’t steal over $950 worth of items. pic.twitter.com/QNlJnBagUj
— Asian Crime Report (@ACRWatchdog) November 3, 2022