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Monday, January 24, 2022

Robbery robbery takes financial, emotional toll on businesses in Los Angeles County

As if recovering from the colossal shock of the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t tough enough, the holidays for retailers have been further complicated by a wave of violent loot and loot.

Crimes during peak shopping season have alarmed retailers and consumers and sent law enforcement and elected officials money to solve and fund them.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, 20 people at a Nordstrom store in The Grove Shopping Center broke into a store window using a sledgehammer and stole thousands of dollars worth of goods. A few days later, a group of thieves broke into Nordstrom’s Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park, attacked a security guard and fled with $25,000 in merchandise.

Police said two men broke into display cases and fled with products from a T-Mobile outlet in the 1200 block of North Lake Avenue in Pasadena on Monday night, December 13. (image courtesy of Google Maps)

In a surprise robbery at a Home Depot in Lakewood last month, a group of at least eight youths broke into a store to grab tools, including hammers, crowbars, wrenches and sledgehammers, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. could be used, officials said, to launch more robbery-and-catch crimes.

Several such incidents have been reported, scattered across the region, as those high-profile crimes made headlines.

This week, officers said three suspects are believed to be responsible for at least six robberies and robberies at a mobile phone store in Los Angeles County this week, police said. North Hollywood Detective Noah Stone of the Los Angeles Police Department said Monday, December 13, a robbery occurred within a few hours at a T-Mobile store in Pasadena, Duarte, Woodland Hills, Reseda, Valley Village and Hermosa Beach. Division.

Violent robberies take a toll on small businesses, trade experts say, which are waiting for the holiday shopping season to recover some of their losses after a disastrous year following lockdowns, labor shortages and supply chain crises. Were.

“They weren’t getting all their products on the shelves and now that they get the products on the shelf, they’re getting stolen,” said Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association, who said that violent robberies are specifically aimed at small business. are challenging. Owners who cannot rent security.

Nancy Hoffman VanEck, president and CEO of the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce, said flash-mob thefts not only affect profits, they lead to a “traumatic experience” for customers and store personnel.

Robbery robbery takes financial, emotional toll on businesses in Los Angeles County
to announce arrests in connection with recent loot and grab robberies and during a news conference to provide security measures and prevention tips at LAPD Headquarters on Thursday, December 2, 2021 in Los Angeles Photos from Smash and Grab. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

“The concern is that it is the holiday season and if people are afraid of personal shopping, they may opt for online shopping,” she said.

Elle Bei Zhou label fashion designer Elle B. Membetov was hoping to expand her brand and open a department store this year – but after recent violent robberies, she closed her Beverly Hills store and started her expansion plans. Decided to hold.

“We’re hoping that this is something we can see again in early 2022,” she said.

It is estimated that organized retail crime costs about $700,000 per $1 billion in sales each year, according to the National Retail Federation. That number is up from $450,000 in 2015.

Read Also:  Los Angeles luxury mall fell victim to kidnappers

Stolen goods, including expensive clothing, handbags and power tools, make their way to online marketplaces. A group of 20 retailers including Nordstrom, Best Buy and Home Depot sent a letter to House and Senate leaders to pass a law that would ban people from remaining anonymous when selling goods online.

Sarah Wiltfong, senior policy manager for the Los Angeles County Business Federation, said since the robbery has spiraled out of control, “a lot of retailers and other businesses almost quit because they don’t feel like anything is being done about it.” “

Robbery robbery takes financial, emotional toll on businesses in Los Angeles County
LA County Supervisor Katherine Barger (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Mall owners, retailers and law enforcement have openly beefed up security to tackle the wave of burglaries, but some say that’s not enough.

A representative for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, which operates malls in Sherman Oaks, Canoga Park, Century City and Culver City, said in a statement that “we are coordinating with local law enforcement and to ensure Taking extra steps to ensure that our assets are as safe as possible for both retailers and shoppers.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Katherine Barger said she would offer $1 million in discretionary funding to enhance law enforcement services in the county’s unincorporated areas and communities in her district.

“The recent burglary crime wave and various robberies are proof that criminals feel bold and untouchable – crimes in the public eye are on the rise,” Barger said in a statement. retail, shopping for loved ones or simply enjoying time at home.”

Southern California is not alone in the situation, however, according to LAPD chief Michelle Moore, who said cities across California have experienced attempted robbery since early November.

“That small number of crimes amounted to stolen property,” Moore said.

“We don’t allow or tolerate this type of bold and reckless actions, and those involved will face consequences for their actions,” Moore said.

Robbery robbery takes financial, emotional toll on businesses in Los Angeles County
Gov. Gavin Newsom (Photo by Sarah Reingwirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
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