Los Angeles Forms Task Force to Tackle Surge in Smash and Grab Robberies

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The city of Los Angeles is taking action to address the increase in retail theft, particularly organized smash-and-grab robberies involving ...

Jody Golden

Jody Golden

18 August 2023 3:35 pm

Los Angeles Forms Task Force to Tackle Surge in Smash and Grab Robberies

The City of Los Angeles Takes Action Against Retail Theft

The city of Los Angeles is taking action to address the increase in retail theft, particularly organized smash-and-grab robberies involving large groups of thieves. A task force called the Organized Retail Crimes Task Force has been launched, with the support of Mayor Karen Bass, the LAPD, and other law enforcement agencies. This decision comes after a tumultuous week that witnessed two smash-and-grab robberies carried out by large groups in the Los Angeles region.

In recent incidents, large groups of thieves have targeted luxury stores in Los Angeles and southern California, stealing significant amounts of merchandise. Over the weekend, around 50 individuals wearing hoodies and masks stole up to $100,000 worth of luxury items from a Nordstrom store in Los Angeles. During the robbery, the thieves also attacked security guards using bear mace. In a separate incident last week, a group of 30 to 40 thieves robbed a Yves Saint Laurent store in broad daylight, making off with an estimated $300,000 worth of merchandise. Police are investigating both incidents.

A group of over a dozen individuals dressed in dark clothes, hoods, and masks conducted a brazen smash-and-grab robbery at a store in Glendale, near Los Angeles. The incident, which was captured on video, occurred just before 5 p.m. The robbers swiftly entered the store, grabbed expensive merchandise, and fled. In response to the incident, officials from Glendale and Los Angeles announced the formation of a task force to address such crimes.

The police have made their first arrest in a recent robbery case. A 23-year-old man has been charged with multiple crimes including organized retail theft, burglary, grand theft, and conspiracy. The Mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, expressed her concern about the recent increase in crime in the city and surrounding areas, stating that action will be taken to address the issue.

The article discusses the formation of a task force in Los Angeles to investigate and address crimes committed against Angelenos. The task force aims to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions and will aggressively investigate incidents where individuals were attacked while doing their jobs or running errands. The article emphasizes that these crimes are not victimless and highlights the importance of taking action to ensure the safety of the community.

LAPD Assistant Chief Dominic Choi has emphasized the negative impact of retail theft on both businesses and the community. He stated that retail theft not only affects businesses financially but also has a broader impact on the overall well-being of the community. Choi called for collective efforts to create a safe environment where streets and businesses are protected from the scourge of retail theft.

According to police data, theft in Los Angeles has seen a significant increase of 15% compared to the same time last year. This rise in theft has become a major concern for the city, despite a decrease in most other types of violent crimes. The number of thefts has surpassed 20,409 incidents, indicating a rampant issue of retail and personal theft in the area.

Los Angeles County has experienced a significant increase in organized retail thefts, with at least 170 incidents reported since the fall of 2021. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office has identified a trend of smash-and-grab thefts occurring during these incidents. Recently, a group of masked thieves stole approximately $900,000 worth of merchandise from a jewelry store located in Irvine, a city just south of Los Angeles, as well as Glendale.

According to the National Retail Federation, organized retail theft is increasing across the United States. Los Angeles has experienced a 27% rise in such incidents in 2021. The top ten cities with the highest rates of retail crime include New York, Houston, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, and Dallas.

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