Three “flash mobs” stole thousands of dollars of merchandise from retail stores in the San Francisco area over the weekend.
A mob of people armed with hammers entered a jewelry store in the city of Hayward, about 35 miles from San Francisco, at around 5:25 p.m. Sunday evening, according to local police. Police told KRON 4 that witnesses saw about nine people enter the store, smashing cases and taking an unknown amount of jewelry, then fled the scene in two vehicles.
KPIX 5 Bay Area reporter Da Lin tweeted footage of the scene. “A large mob robbed Sam’s Jewelers inside Southland Mall, Hayward. PD said they received calls at 5:25 pm today. Witnesses told me 1st wave of robbers involved about 30-40 kids. A 2nd wave with fewer robbers returned to clean it up.”
A large mob robbed Sam’s Jewelers inside Southland Mall, Hayward. PD said they received calls at 5:25 pm today. Witnesses told me 1st wave of robbers involved about 30-40 kids. A 2nd wave with fewer robbers returned to clean it up. Story tonight 11 on Ch 5 @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/1kXj5N4UT2
— Da Lin (@DaKPIX) November 22, 2021
“Workers inside Sam’s Jewelers cleaning up. A large mob smashed the cases and took off with a large amount of jewelry. Inside Southland Mall, Hayward today. If you haven’t already, check out my other tweet with video of the actual robbery,” Lin tweeted later, showing more footage of the store.
Workers inside Sam’s Jewelers cleaning up. A large mob smashed the cases and took off with a large amount of jewelry. Inside Southland Mall, Hayward today. If you haven’t already, check out my other tweet with video of the actual robbery. @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/RU4ei9aVsM
— Da Lin (@DaKPIX) November 22, 2021
In the town of Walnut Creek, about 30 minutes outside of San Francisco, 80 people wearing ski masks and carrying crowbars robbed a Nordstrom store Saturday night. The mob broke into the store, assaulting and pepper-spraying employees, and grabbing merchandise before driving away. The incident was described as “clearly a planned event,” according to a press release issued by the Walnut Creek Police Department. Three people were arrested in connection with the break-in, all of whom were from San Francisco or nearby Oakland, according to the release.
Walnut Creek PD warned on Sunday that the vandals were prepared to attack again. “The Walnut Creek Police Department is actively monitoring intelligence that indicates the group of thieves who stole from the Broadway Plaza Nordstrom last night are considering similar activity later today,” the police department tweeted from its official account.
“This has not been confirmed, but out of an abundance of caution, we are alerting businesses & residents to be prepared. @Walnutcreekpd is calling out [additional] officers and reserves, and some stores may consider closing early or taking other precautions. There is not a specific time or target known right now; as we get more info, we will share.”
Eight people were arrested Friday night after a Louis Vuitton outlet was robbed in San Francisco. Multiple people broke windows and “emptied out” the shop, according to Fox News.
The city has fallen victim to an epidemic of burglaries. Earlier this year, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott suggested criminals have been exploiting a voter-approved state law that reduced sentences for some crimes like shoplifting. The Daily Wire reported in October that Walgreens closed another 5 stores in the city after a rash of burglaries after the pharmacy chain previously closed 17 of its locations in the city over a five-year period. One of the affected locations was reportedly losing as much as $1000 per day due to stolen merchandise. CVS Pharmacies were also targeted heavily, with 12 locations accounting for 42% percent of the chain’s losses in the area. Local grocery stores and other chain stores like Target were forced to reduce their hours because of the rising incidence of shoplifting.