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14 Arrests Have Been Made In Connection To Smash-And-Grab Robberies

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti speaking a podium with the city seal affixed to the front. He is flanked by a masked LAPD Chief Michel Moore, and more than a dozen other law enforcement and business leaders are behind him.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, flanked by LAPD Chief Michel Moore and other law enforcement and business leaders, addresses the news conference.
(Frank Stoltze
/
LAist)
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After several weeks of groups of as many as 20 people running into and grabbing merchandise from L.A. department stores and malls, city officials announced today that 14 arrests have been made in connection with 11 incidents.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said at a press conference that more than $338,000 in goods were stolen from stores and malls including Nordstrom’s at The Grove, the Westfield Topanga Mall and the Beverly Center between November 18 and 28, causing $40,000 in property damage.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti sought to calm the nerves of residents looking to enjoy the holiday season saying that the rash of crimes is “no cause for alarm” and that officials are “acting fast to stop this in its tracks.”

The LAPD went on tactical alert for about five and a half hours on the night of Black Friday after a wave of smash-and-grab robberies.

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A string of robberies at retail stores on Melrose Ave. and La Brea Ave. occurred early that evening, with groups of individuals using weapons, physical force and in two instances chemical spray while carrying out the robberies.

The Home Depot in Lakewood was also hit on the evening of Black Friday. Video from that incident shows an employee and a customer attempting to push back what appears to be a group of a dozen males rushing into the store. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported $400 worth of goods were taken in that incident.

Smash-and-grab robberies and follow-home robberies have gotten much attention within the past few months. The LAPD has seen more than 100 incidents since the beginning of this year in which people have been followed home from retail areas and robbed.

Among those targeted were BET host Terrence Jenkins in Sherman Oaks and Real Housewives star Dorit Kemsley in Beverly Hills. Last week, a man was killed in Hollywood while attempting to assist a woman who police say was a target of a follow-home robbery.

In response to the wave of crime, LAPD created a task force of 20 detectives to address these particular types of crimes.

Still, robberies in the city of Los Angeles are down more than 7% from last year and almost 25% from 2019.

Mayor Garcetti pointed out that crime remains historically low and that this is “still the safest decade of our lives.”

The Los Angeles office of the FBI is offering rewards of $1000 to $10,000 for information related to these smash-and-grab robberies. People are also encouraged to call 1-877-ASK-LAPD with any information.

What questions or concerns do you have about civics and democracy in Southern California?
Frank Stoltze explores who has power and how they use it at a time when our democratic systems have been under threat.