Video captured a mob of thieves swarming a Nordstrom in Canoga Park as they cleared out the store during a destructive robbery on Saturday.
Chaos ensued as a large group of masked thieves clad in dark clothing scrambled around the store, grabbing armfuls of designer clothing, purses, accessories and more.
Los Angeles police received reports of the mass robbery at the Westfield Topanga mall around 4 p.m.
Police said anywhere between 20-50 suspects are believed to be involved, although the exact number has not been confirmed.
The thieves were seen violently grabbing whatever merchandise they could carry, with many seen ripping the security devices attached to designer purses and luggage items. Store shelves and display racks were destroyed, knocked over and littered across the floor along with a ton of fallen merchandise.
At one point, a security guard who tried to intervene was attacked with a chemical spray, police said. It’s unclear what that person’s condition is.
The suspects all fled in multiple getaway cars before officers could arrive. Guests were evacuated from the department store as officers cordoned off the scene during a busy Saturday.
LAPD estimated around $60,000 to $100,000 worth of merchandise was taken.
Citizen video later showed store employees sweeping up broken glass from the floor and clearing the mess and debris strewn everywhere. Details on how the smash-and-grab robbery was coordinated remain under investigation.
“That is ludicrous,” said local shopper, Kolby Bains. “I’m disgusted. I like to come here, but seeing this makes me not want to come here.”
Saturday’s flash mob robbery marks the second time this particular Nordstrom was targeted. Back in 2021, around five smash-and-grab robbers ransacked the department store before also deploying a spray of some sort. The incident prompted a mass evacuation at the time.
Several suspects were arrested at the time, with ties to an organized crime spree involving other robberies that took place across the Southland.
Some shoppers are frustrated by the incident, believing more needs to be done to crack down on these violent robberies.
“It’s happening everywhere and it’s just really, really shameful that we are allowing this as a society and as a country and in our state,” Bains said. “We need to do something.”
L.A. Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement saying:
“What happened today at the Nordstrom in the Topanga Mall is absolutely unacceptable. Those who committed these acts and acts like it in neighboring areas must be held accountable. The Los Angeles Police Department will continue to work to not only find those responsible for this incident but to prevent these attacks on retailers from happening in the future.”
LAPD also released a short statement saying:
“To those who live in the area and patronize the Topanga Mall, it is a loss of feeling safe. The LAPD will exhaust all efforts to bring those responsible into custody and seek criminal prosecution.
Officers said they are working to identify and locate the suspects and already have several leads.
Video of the robbery can be seen in the video players above.