Police have arrested 11 suspects in connection with a series of flash mob robberies taking place across Southern California.
The arrests were made by detectives from the newly-formed Organized Retail Crime Taskforce which was created earlier this month to stop the rising number of group robberies targeting retailers.
The task force has taken charge of nine recent cases involving flash mob robbers in which 11 suspects have been taken into custody. The suspects’ identities have not been released.
The four flash mob robberies related to the arrests took place at:
– Versace Store at the Beverly Center
– A Warehouse Shoe Store
– Nordstrom at Westfield Topanga Mall
– Yves Saint Laurent at The Americana at Brand
The arrests involve an increasing number of flash mob robberies taking place across Southern California over the past month including previous incidents at:
-A Nordstrom at the Westfield Topanga mall
-A luxury handbag theft in Glendale
-A YSL store at the Americana at Brand in Glendale
-A luxury denim store in Hancock Park
-A Nike store in East L.A.
-A Gucci store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa
-A Nordstrom Rack in Riverside
-A wig store in Beverly Hills
In most flash mob robberies, a large group of thieves will overwhelm store employees and security guards while grabbing as many items as possible before fleeing. Their hauls often exceed $100,000 since many of the targeted stores are high-end retailers.
“These are not victimless crimes,” said L.A. Mayor Karen Bass. “No Angeleno should feel like it is not safe to go shopping in Los Angeles. No entrepreneur should feel like it’s not safe to open a business in Los Angeles.”
The newly-formed Organized Retail Crime Taskforce will not only focus on the suspects robbing retailers, but also on those who purchase the stolen goods online, officials said.