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80 Robbers With Crowbars Loot San Francisco-Area Nordstrom In Less Than One Minute

Walnut Creek, CA – About 80 people wearing ski masks and carrying crowbars and other weapons blocked the street in front of Nordstrom in Walnut Creek with cars on Saturday night and then stormed the department store for a mass looting.

Police said that the flash-mob style looting in the Broadway Plaza store was over and done with in less than a minute, NBC News reported.

A spokesperson for the Walnut Creek police said that two Nordstrom employees were punched and kicked by the looters, and a third worker was pepper-sprayed.

Police said they do not yet have an estimate of how much merchandise was stolen or how much damage was done, but videos showed the mob was quick and violent in their raid, NBC News reported.

Police said two people were arrested at the scene on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy, burglary, and possession of stolen property.

One of the two looters had a firearm and will also face a weapons charge, NBC News reported.

A third suspect was arrested shortly after the incident and has also been charged, according to police.

“Three people are under arrest today following an organized theft at the Broadway Plaza Nordstrom in Walnut Creek last night. Police are investigating what was clearly a planned event, with the initial calls coming into the department about cars driving recklessly in the area shortly before 9:00 p.m.,” Walnut Creek police said in a statement released on Sunday.

Witnesses described a chaotic and frightening scene, NBC News reported.

Brett Barrett, who worked at a restaurant down the street from the Nordstrom, said he saw 50 to 80 people in ski masks carrying crowbars.

“I had to start locking the front door, the back door,” Barrett said. “You never know, they could have come right in here.”

Authorities encouraged areas businesses to close early on Sunday after gathering intelligence that said another organized mass robbery was being planned, KXTV reported.

Walnut Creek police said they didn’t believe the mass looting of the Nordstrom had anything to do with civil unrest in response to the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Friday, NBC News reported.

However, investigators are looking into any connection the Nordstrom looting may have to another mass robbery that happened one night earlier, 25 miles away in San Francisco, KXTV reported.

A smaller flash mob raided and looted a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco on Nov. 19, FOX News reported.

Looters smashed the windows of the designer store and completely emptied it of merchandise.

Most of the suspects escaped the scene with their booty, but six suspects were immediately apprehended by San Francisco Police Department’s Central Station officers and arrested at the scene, KTVU reported.

The Fendi, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, and Yves Saint Laurent stores in the same area were also looted.

Police are reviewing surveillance video from both robberies to identify additional suspects, KXTV reported.

Security experts have said that rise in brazen robberies is a result of stores having no-chase policies and changes to California law that made shoplifting less than $950 in merchandize a misdemeanor.

“I think what happens now is there’s no accountability for it anymore, and the liability for the stores if they try to apprehend these guys. They just stand by and watch,” Steve Reed, a retired police officer and former head of security at Arden Fair Mall, told KXTV.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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