WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A group of 9 people armed with sledgehammers robbed Sam’s Jewelry in Hayland’s Southland Mall on Sunday.
- On Friday, a flash mob “emptied out” a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco while a mob of about 80 people looted a Nordstrom store Saturday night in Walnut Creek.
- It’s not yet clear if the robberies are connected, police said.
There were three flash mobs that targeted high-end retail stores from Friday evening to Sunday evening in the San Francisco area.
Local KPIX reporter Da Lin reported that “A large mob robbed Sam’s Jewelers inside Southland Mall, Hayward.” He accompanied the report with footage of the scene.
Hayward is about 35 miles from San Francisco. Witnesses said there were nine people armed with hammers who entered the jewelry store, according to police.
Police added that the suspects smashed display cabinets and stole an unknown amount of items, KRON4 reported. The robbers got away in two cars.
Hayward Police had not immediately given any updates whether the incident is related to two other robberies in the area over the weekend.
A mob broke the windows of a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco on Friday evening. The robbers “emptied out” the store of its merchandise. Police arrested eight people in connection to that looting.
In Walnut Creek, a mob of about 80 people dressed in ski masks and armed with crowbars looted a Nordstrom location Saturday night. The town is about 30 minutes from San Francisco.
It’s not yet clear if the two robberies are connected, police told Fox News on Sunday evening. The three people arrested during the Walnut Creek incident are from San Francisco and Oakland.
Looting and smash-and-grab incidents have been reported in the San Francisco area repeatedly in recent months.
Car break-ins in San Francisco’s Central District saw a huge 753% increase from May 2020 to May 2021. According to San Francisco Police data released last week, robbery incidents are down 4.9% so far this year when compared to 2020.
Some security experts say California’s laws are partly to blame as to why there is an increase in such crimes. Shoplifting charges — theft of $950 or less — were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors under Proposition 47 in 2014. Stores usually have no-chase policies of shoplifters.
“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 the former head of security at Arden Fair Mall, told ABC 10.
Police in Walnut Creek issued a message Sunday night “out of an abundance of caution.” They are also bracing for the suspects to strike again.
“We are alerting businesses & residents to be prepared,” part of the message read.
Source: Fox News