Recent incidents of flash-and-loot mobs at various stores in California have put the authorities on high alert. They have promised strict and strong retribution against the smash-and-grab robbers but even so, the looting has not stopped.
With most stores being open late for Black Friday, and a whole plethora of shoppers descending on them, the looters have found a new spree. Black Friday crime is turning out to be lucrative for these daredevils who sweep in and loot, just like a sudden flash mob.
Black Friday Crime: A New Spree
As part of a Black Friday crime, a group of suspects that ranged from ages 15 to 20 barged into a Home Depot store in Lakewood at about 8:30 pm and made away with their loot before they could be stopped.
Fox 11, Los Angeles reported that the suspects managed to make away with tools such as crowbars, mallets, and sledgehammers making this a Black Friday crime. The Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies even said that an entire section of hammers had been cleared out before the looters got way in vehicles waiting for them outside the stores. It was a planned attack with the thieves wearing ski masks to avoid identification via people or CCTV cameras. With 10 vehicles waiting for the looters, a getaway was also pre-planned.
The biggest fear of this Black Friday Crime is that these very weapons could be used to perpetrate more crimes, which makes it a big priority for LAPD.
Here’s a report from Fox 11, Los Angeles.
Luxury Store Hit In Black Friday Crime As Well
Far from Home Depot being the only store hit, another Black Friday crime went down in the Beverly Grove area. A large group of miscreants stormed into the Bottega Veneta store, armed with pepper spray, and managed to grab high-end merchandise.
The details of this loot are still unclear as to how many suspects managed to enter the store and how much were they able to get away with. There are no reports on any arrest made till now as well, leaving the store owners, in general, a bit antsy.
Promises Of Better Security
Earlier this week, LA police chief Michel Moore made a statement reflecting a heightened state of awareness in the state police on Back Friday. since California has been hit by a spate of such robberies, and not just as Black Friday crime, the authorities have promised to crack down on flash-mob robberies.
Inter-agency collaboration toward a common goal: to ensure the safety of our community. CHP and LAPD came together at the Topanga mall for high-visibility patrol to deter flash mob/smash-and-grab robberies pic.twitter.com/OXxtl15b0C
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) November 27, 2021
California Governor Gavin Newsom also titled such crimes “unacceptable” and promised a “step-up” in policing, not just to avoid Black Friday crime but all crime in general. The increased vigilance comes not just from LAPD but also CHP, California Highway Patrol officers.
Since the crimes have already been committed, it’s a matter of time to see how soon the perpetrators are caught and brought to justice, to curtail crime in California and other locations.