A new breed of brazen takeover robbers hitting California luxury retailers, raising ire

The mayhem began Friday night, when thieves smashed a Louis Vuitton storefront window in San Francisco’s Union Square and ransacked the store. Criminals also targeted about a dozen nearby stores for theft and vandalism, police said, including a Burberry and Hermes store, as well as an eyeglass shop and cannabis dispensaries.

On Saturday night, the raid of the Nordstrom in nearby Walnut Creek was even more audacious: Just before closing time, some 80 people jumped out of a pack of cars, flash-mob style, and swarmed the aisles, many escaping with merchandise. Two employees were assaulted, one of them pepper sprayed.

UPDATE: Shaken Holiday Shoppers Changing Plans in Wake Of Retail Smash-and-Grab Crime Spree

LIVERMORE (KPIX) — A violent smash-and-grab robbery spree targeting retail shops across the Bay Area has shoppers, store employees and business owners on edge at the start the holiday shopping season.

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Retailers sound alarm on organized theft as states warn of rise

(Bloomberg) — Retailers say shoplifting is getting more brazen in the U.S.: A California Nordstrom store was recently hit by a flash mob of more than 80 people who made off with designer goods, while more than a dozen people pilfered from a Louis Vuitton location in Oak Brook.

On Tuesday, the impact of shoplifting reached Wall Street, with Best Buy Co. shares plunging after the electronics retailer said widespread theft contributed to a decrease in one gauge of profitability. Last month, Walgreens said it would close five San Francisco stores after theft rates there spiked.


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