Glendale police have made the first of what is expected to be multiple arrests related to a “flash mob”-style burglary at a high-end store at the Americana at Brand shopping center.
Ivan Isaac Ramirez, 23, of Los Angeles, was arrested Thursday morning at an undisclosed location as part of a Glendale Police Department operation.
Ramirez was arrested for his alleged role in a burglary that took place last week at Yves Saint Lauren, a luxury clothing and accessories store that has a location in the Americana.
Shocking video from the scene showed dozens of people ransacking the high-end store and fleeing with an estimated $400,000 in merchandise.
Ramirez is the first suspect to be arrested as part of the investigation. A second suspect, identified as Brianna Jimenez, 21, has a warrant out for her arrest for her alleged role in the crime but has not been located yet.
Rick Caruso, the former mayoral candidate and real estate magnate whose company owns and operates the Americana and other Southern California shopping centers, publicly called for the region’s elected officials to do more about the rising number of retail thefts.
Caruso’s company is offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of those involved in the burglary at Yves Saint Lauren.
Following news of the first arrest, a representative from Caruso released a statement that thanked the Police Department for their “swift and decisive actions,” adding that the company’s retail stores are supposed to offer a “safe and family-friendly environment.”
“The relentless efforts of the GPD showcases their professionalism and dedication to upholding the safety and integrity of our community,” the statement reads in part. “While this incident was deeply concerning, it strengthens our resolve to ensure that The Americana at Brand continues to be a symbol of safety, excellence and community.”
On Thursday, hours before news of Ramirez’s arrest was released by authorities, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and other local leaders announced a new multi-agency task force to combat the growing trend of these organized retail theft operations.
Additionally, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state would be tripling California Highway Patrol resources in the Los Angeles area to assist with retail thefts.
The CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force was established in 2019, and the Governor’s Office says its arrested more than 1,250 people and recovered more than $30 million in stolen merchandise since its creation.
It’s unclear if Glendale investigators are close to making additional arrests or if more suspects will be identified. Anyone with information about the burglary, including the location of Jimenez, is urged to contact the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911. Anonymous tips can be submitted online or by calling 800-222-8477.