After 11 “smash and grab” incidents in L.A. that saw retail stores targeted for group robberies, LAPD has made 14 arrests believed to be in connection.
The four robberies, six burglaries and grand theft took place between Nov. 18 and 28, with about $338,000 worth of merchandise stolen.
“Our officers, with the resources they need, are out there to get the bad guys — to prevent smash and grab robberies from happening in the first place,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a briefing. “We have extended patrols, we have strategic places we’re at, but we also… need the public’s help.”
LAPD said the robberies appeared coordinated, with caravans parked nearby the targeted stores while people went inside, taking property and assaulting employees.
“They worked in to steal from high end clothing stores, often using weapons and physical force to overwhelm and intimidate store employees and patrons,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said on Thursday.
All 14 of the arrested suspects were released from custody, meeting bail, zero bail and juvenile release requirements.
LIVE: LAPD announcing arrest of smash and grab suspects https://t.co/sZqnjXylv5
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) December 3, 2021
Suspects believed to be connected to an incident at the Nordstrom department store located at The Grove L.A, are still at-large. At least $9,000 of property was stolen in that incident.
Law enforcement are also looking for suspects involved in a CVS robbery where more than $10,000 worth of property were taken.
In response to the “flash mob” robberies, LAPD increased its patrols and police presence on Nov. 24, in hopes to curtail the incidents.
“As of this last weekend… we’ve seen multiple instances in which we believe the actions of the added presence— both store security personnel as well as ourselves — has deterred people from further victimizing stores,” Chief Moore said.
Moore added that it is believed the stolen merchandise is being re-sold, as the found property typically contained original tags in place. It is believed that the intention was to sell the merchandise at swap-meet style markets.
The trend of smash and grab robberies began at the start of November in cities across the country such as Chicago, New York and even San Francisco.
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