There was a time when flash mobs at malls meant spontaneous dancing. Not anymore.

Authorities are searching for a group of thieves who robbed the Macy’s at Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks Thursday in the latest “flash mob” style robbery caught on video in the Los Angeles area.

Authorities say the theft occurred around 12:40 p.m. as the Macy’s was filled with shoppers.

Cell phone video shows a group of masked thieves rushing through the store, grabbing handfuls of perfumes and cologne, and then running out the door.

A woman who was shopping with her grandmother said they felt helpless and frightened.

“My grandma – it’s hard for her to walk around so she was just sitting there. The poor lady was scared,” the witness, who did not want to reveal her identity, told KTLA. “It’s getting out of control.”

Sherman Oaks mob
Cell phone video shows a group of masked thieves rushing through the Macy’s and grabbing handfuls of perfumes and cologne. Sherman Oaks, California. Aug. 24, 2023. (Citizen)

Thursday’s crime occurred on the same day that police announced 11 arrests in connection with several other recent mob robberies at local retailers, including one at the Nordstrom at Westfield’s Topanga Mall – just a short distance from Fashion Square.

The arrests were made by detectives in the newly formed Organized Retail Crime Task Force, which was announced last week in an effort to combat the rising number of mob-style retail thefts.