In the most recent smash-and-grab robbery at a Los Angeles mall, bear spray was used.
Thieves used a chemical spray on a security guard to gain access to a Nordstrom store in a mall in Los Angeles County on Wednesday evening.
According to KABC-TV, the store, which is located at the Westfield Topanga & The Village shopping mall in Canoga Park, was targeted by a group of thieves soon before 7 p.m. local time while some customers were still inside.
One of the criminals assaulted and sprayed a security guard inside the store with “some kind of chemical liquid,” according to Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Others in the group raced inside to seize products, according to KTLA-TV. The incident resulted in the theft of “a number of high-value purses,” according to Hamilton.
Thieves destroying displays to gain access to purses and other small products, according to a Nordstrom employee who talked with KTLA. After the chemical spray was used, she stated she had “several coworkers who were battling to open their eyes,” with one coworker suffering from facial burns and another having difficulties breathing.
According to KABC-TV, investigators identified the chemical irritant used on the security officer as bear spray early Thursday morning. In a news release issued late Wednesday night, the LAPD also stated that bear spray was used on the security guard during the theft at the Topanga Mall Nordstrom.
The criminals departed the mall in a vehicle that was waiting for them just outside after stealing things from the business, according to Hamilton of KTLA. The car was characterized as a gray or blue Ford Mustang, according to him.
The Los Angeles Police Department claimed in a press release issued Wednesday evening that it was investigating the Nordstrom incident as well as another “flash mob” theft near Beverly Hills and West Hollywood at the Beverly Center. According to police, “groups of suspects” entered various establishments in the shopping center and stole items as they went.
The thefts reported on Wednesday are the latest in a string of retail robberies that have occurred in Los Angeles and the Bay Area in recent weeks. Several crimes in the recent week saw dozens of people stealing stuff at the same time, which law enforcement officials believe was the result of coordinated operations.
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