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LASD Increases Patrols After Rash Of Smash And Grab Robberies

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy sits in a patrol car. Taken from the back seat, only his right arm can be seen resting on the passenger side front door with its window down. His Sheriff's Department patch is visible on his shirt sleeve.
More Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies will patrol shopping areas this holiday season.
(Maya Sugarman
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L.A. County sheriff's deputies will be out in force at local shopping centers and other potential targets of so-called "smash-and-grab" robberies.

The stepped-up patrols come after a rash of brazen thefts at businesses across the region in recent weeks, including on Black Friday when some stores were ransacked.

Assistant Sheriff Bruce Chase, who leads the department's patrol division, told the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday that business owners and shoppers alike should stay alert, but to avoid making any rash assumptions.

"We don't want people to be overly afraid, just because you see some individuals walking into a shopping area, with hoodies on and face masks. Especially given COVID, it may not be an indicator," Chase said.

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Supervisor Holly Mitchell also urged residents to not profile anyone who may very likely be just another shopper.

Chase could not confirm whether the robberies were part of a larger organized crime operation, but noted that they appear to be "quickly organized, but poorly led."

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