LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday announced more than a dozen arrests following a string of burglaries across the city in recent weeks where nearly $340,000 worth of goods were stolen.
Police Chief Michel Moore said 14 people were arrested in connection with 11 brazen robberies between November 18 and 28, and all were not taken into custody. Most of the cases were bailed or met the criteria for not being bailed, and one was a minor, he said.
Moore added that Los Angeles, and California, have seen “a rampage” of homicide crimes around the Thanksgiving holidays and Black Friday. The crimes are all similar in nature, characterized by multiple suspects collaborating, destroying property, assaulting store employees and convoys parked near high-end retail stores.
On the eve of Thanksgiving, five people flocked to a Nordstrom store in Los Angeles and fled with some $25,000 worth of wallets.
Los Angeles robberies are just one part of the a recent wave of blatant thefts at luxury and department stores such as Louis Vuitton and Nordstrom coincide with nationwide rise in organized retail crime. Chicago, New York and the California Bay Area have all seen increases in crime types recently, Moore said.
A majority of retailers say that stores have become increasingly targeted and attacks have become more violent since the COVID-19 pandemic began. according to the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail association, headquartered in Washington, DC
In total, Los Angeles has seen 11 of these incidents, in which $338,000 worth of property was stolen and the suspects awarded $40,000 worth of property damages, Moore said.
‘Significantly more violent’:After the Nordstrom robbery in California, will other retailers be next? Experts say yes.
‘She inspires admiration’:Jacqueline Avant, wife of music icon Clarence Avant, was shot dead during a home invasion.
The sheriff said he believes police investigating retail robberies have the support of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, who has run the reform program and advocated ending bail for criminals. misdemeanor, non-violent and non-serious felonies.
Gascón’s office said in a statement Thursday that those who committed the theft would be held accountable.
Alex Bastian, special counsel for Gascón, said: “Our office has cooperated with many law enforcement agencies and once all the evidence has been gathered we will review the schools. appropriate to determine what criminal charges should be filed,” Alex Bastian, special counsel for Gascón, said in the statement. “These brazen actions hurt all of us: retailers, employees and customers.”
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin last week announced felony charges against nine people for a series of burglaries, and Bay Area prosecutors announced a joint effort to combat retail theft that has organization.
‘Be a good witness’ ::Amid spike in organized theft, retailers reassess loss prevention
News? Tick. Evil? Tick.:Sign up for the only evening news you need.
In the Bay Area, the Walnut Creek City Council this week approved a $2 million addition to security controls after nearly 100 ski masked thieves staged a mob robbery at a Nordstrom store in November. An estimated $125,000 worth of merchandise was stolen.
Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who has prided himself on his criminal justice reform efforts, promised Wednesday that the proposed budget he sent to state lawmakers by Next month will “dramatically increase our efforts to pursue these retail rounds.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned the robbers that the police department had expanded patrols and strategically positioned throughout the city.
“We will find you, we will arrest you, and we will prosecute you,” Garcetti said at a news conference on Thursday.
Contribution: Associated Press