A smash-and-grab flash mob stormed into the Nordstrom store in Canoga Park on Saturday afternoon, grabbed merchandise and ran out.
An estimated 30 to 50 people participated in the brazen daytime robbery at the Westfield Topanga Shopping Center shortly after 4 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police said the dozens of suspects included both males and females and said they used bear spray and left in sedans whose license plates had been removed. Police estimated losses to be between $60,000 and $100,000.
A shopper at the store posted a video of the chaos on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, capturing pillaged clothing racks, broken glass from display counters and a mannequin lying on the floor near an entrance. Hooded figures carrying and dragging multiple bags dash among debris as the clothing sensor tags sound in the background.
There were no injuries, according to a customer service representative who was unable to provide further details.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called the robbery “absolutely unacceptable.”
“Those who committed these acts and acts like it in neighboring areas must be held accountable,” she said in a statement. “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.”
A similar incident took place Aug. 8 at an Yves Saint Laurent store at the Americana at Brand in Glendale when 30 to 40 people stormed the store, getting away in about 20 vehicles with about $300,000 worth of merchandise. The Glendale Police Department is investigating.
The Nordstrom store at the Topanga Shopping Center was the target of a similar heist in November 2021 when robbers attacked a security guard with bear spray and stole several high-end purses.
At the time, it was one in a flurry of so-called mob thefts that were taking place in Southern and Northern California. One robbery at a Nordstrom in Walnut Creek involved about 90 people, 25 waiting vehicles and more than $100,000 worth of stolen goods. Three people were arrested and charged.
Another took place at the Nordstrom store at the Grove, during which thieves stole $5,000 worth of merchandise after breaking a display window. After the break-in, LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced that he was stepping up patrols around high-end retailers.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also ordered the California Highway Patrol to increase its presence near major retailers.