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Criminal Justice

Police Are Out In Force To Deter Smash And Grab Robberies

Collection of brown paper bags at the feet of shoppers standing next to a wooden counter.
Shoppers wait outside Macy's department store on Black Friday, November 26, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images)
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The official start to holiday shopping comes with more Los Angeles Police officers patrolling high-end malls to deter smash-and-grab robberies. Prior to Thanksgiving, organized groups stole tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise here and at stores in the Bay Area.

Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton says there are more uniformed and undercover officers patrolling shopping areas.

"In addition to our visibility, we're meeting and greeting people as they go about their holiday shopping. We're contacting people directly to make sure they're aware that we are there to keep things safe," Hamilton says.

Wednesday a security guard was attacked with bear spray during a "flash mob" robbery at the Westfield Topanga mall.

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Similar incidents also happened at the Beverly Center and Nordstrom at the Grove. Hamilton urges shoppers and workers to be aware of their surroundings, and if you see something suspicious, alert security.

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