Another business has fallen victim to a flash mob-style robbery, with eight suspects targeting a local shoe store in the latest case of retail theft in Southern California.
Surveillance footage shows at least five of the thieves walking calmly around the WSS store in Van Nuys around 9 p.m. Sunday night, casually stealing $5,000 to $6,000 worth of clothes and shoes, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Authorities later confirmed that a total of eight suspects — five men and three women — carried out the robbery.
Some of the suspects were seen exiting the store, located in the 7900 block of Sepulveda Boulevard, with merchandise stuffed in plastic bags; others just took items and walked out.
Employees told police that one of the robbers may have been armed. Customers inside the store at the time did not engage with the suspects, which authorities say is the correct thing to do.
Police are investigating the theft as an organized retail crime incident after a massive uptick in commercial robberies across SoCal.
While the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $15.6 million grant to combat organized retail theft, flash mob robberies continue to occur.
One example happened in September when a group of thieves entered a Nike store in Irvine and was seen grabbing armfuls of clothes before leaving the store without paying.
Those suspects were later apprehended, law enforcement officials said.
As for Sunday night’s WSS robbery, no arrests have been made so far, according to police.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the LAPD.