The decade's most triggering comedy
A group of at least 30 thieves robbed a Yves Saint Laurent store in southern California in broad daylight on Tuesday, absconding with an estimated $300,000 worth of merchandise, police said.
The brazen smash-and-grab robbery was caught on video just before 5 p.m. The store is located at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale, just north of Los Angeles.
Footage from the incident shows over a dozen people mostly dressed in dark clothes, hoods, and masks dashing into the store and running out again, their arms full of the expensive merchandise.
A person who appears to be an Amazon delivery driver can be seen attempting to stop one of the thieves as he runs away from the store, but the culprit struggles free and jumps into a moving red sedan, which then speeds off. One person tells the apparent Amazon driver not to struggle with the thief, saying it is “not worth” getting hit by the getaway car, according to local outlet KTLA.
“Our community is very protective of this city, and we understand that, but we have to be protective of them,” Sergeant Victor Jackson told KTLA.
“We don’t want them to intervene in something like this. This is ultimately a property crime that we’re not going to stand for, but we want them to be safe,” the officer said.
Glendale Police Chief Manny Cid vowed that “this type of criminal activity will not be tolerated in Glendale” and said residents should expect an “elevated police presence” downtown.
The Glendale Police Department will “pursue all leads and utilize every available resource to apprehend those responsible and bring them to justice,” Cid said in a press release.
“Our commitment to the safety of the residents, businesses, and visitors to Glendale is unwavering and our top priority. Our city remains strong and united against lawlessness and criminal activity threatening our safety and well-being,” the police chief said.
A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators by Caruso, the company that owns the mall where the Yves Saint Laurent store is located.
“At Caruso, we stand firm in our commitment to the security of our guests, tenants, residents and employees,” a Caruso spokesperson said. “Our company’s top priority is to maintain a safe and family-friendly environment across all of our properties, and we will not tolerate any criminal activity.”
California has been plagued by smash-and-grab robberies for the past few years.
Late last month, police said another group of masked thieves stole $900,000 worth of merchandise from a jewelry store in Irvine just south of Los Angeles and Glendale.
In San Francisco, many stores have geared up with unprecedented security measures to try to deter shoplifters in the crime-ridden city. A string of major retailers have also recently fled their downtown San Francisco locations, where foot traffic has thinned in part due to a spike in crime, including rampant shoplifting.
Critics argue that the groups of thieves are emboldened by California’s progressive prosecutors, who rarely force the shoplifters to face significant criminal consequences.