Daily Management Review

US Retail Stores Ravaged By 'Flash Mob' Thieves On Black Friday


US Retail Stores Ravaged By 'Flash Mob' Thieves On Black Friday
Black Friday bargain hunters weren't alone looking for bargains on the day following Thanksgiving. Thieves were also busy.
The police of Los Angeles and cities elsewhere across the nation spent a large portion of the holiday weekend searching for suspects in a string of "flash mob" robberies on Friday, as part of a burgeoning U.S. crime trend in which gangs of thieves crowd an establishment, swoop through the shelves, and then flee.
Authorities have also used the phrase "smash-and-grab" to describe the trend.
Two such incidents of robberies were reported on the weekend from authorities from Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as well as The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. KCAL-TV, a local TV station KCAL-TV has counted six smash-and-grab thefts on the west side of the city on Friday.
In one instance the group of eight men went into the Home Depot outlet at a shopping mall in Lakewood just to the south from downtown Los Angeles, walked directly into the tool aisle and stole a number of hammersand sledgehammers, and Crowbars valued at around $400 before escaping according to the sheriff's office.
As per L.A. television station KTTV it was reported that the Home Depot robbery on Friday night was a robbing spree that involved as many as 20 suspects who walked into the store in up to 10 vehicles wearing ski masks, before snatching tools from the aisle.
"We tried to stop them," store employee Luis Romo told KTTV. "We closed the front entrance, and they put their sledgehammers up and whoever got in the way, they were going to hurt them."
The Los Angeles City News Service reported that four suspects in the robbery were taken into custody this past Saturday, according to Beverly Hills police.
In a similar incident on Friday afternoon the same group of men or more walked into an establishment within the town's Fairfax district. They then began to snatch merchandise and not paying for it and pushed employees away before fleeing the scene According to LAPD.
Police are looking into possible connections to the incident as well as several other thefts and robberies in the days preceding and in the week. These include two break-and-grabs on Wednesday the 13th of March, an LAPD spokesperson said.
The recent spate of retail crimes led the LAPD to place their officers on a nationwide tactical alert in the afternoon of Friday.
Mass burglaries were also reported on Friday in Two Best Buy electronics stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, one of which involved as much as 30 suspects. an escalating series of retail burglaries is being investigated in Chicago.
One of the most significant flash mob robberies that have been reported across the West Coast in recent days authorities within Walnut Creek in the San Francisco suburb of Walnut Creek were looking for around 80 suspects who came out and robbed an department store on Saturday.