11 arrested in LA flash mob retail heists – NBC Los Angeles

A task force formed to combat a wave of flash mob-style retail thefts in the Los Angeles area has made 11 arrests since it was formed earlier this week, according to authorities.

Those arrests include at least one in a heist involving upwards of 30 people at a Nordstrom inside Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park. The thieves used bear spray on security guards who tried to intervene and escaped with high-end handbags, clothes and other items.

It was not immediately clear how many people were arrested in the Nordstrom robbery, which was captured on video.

“Upon the inception of the Organized Retail Crimes Task Force (ORCT0, detectives assumed investigative responsibility of nine cases involving organized retail crimes throughout the city of Los Angeles,” the LAPD said in a statement. “Many of these retail theft cases have adopted linkage to other retail crimes which occurred in neighboring cities.”

The 11 robbery arrests were related to four of the nine cases ORCT was investigating. They included crimes at the following locations.

  • Versace store at Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
  • Warehouse Shoe Store, 6251 York Blvd., Highland Park
  • Nordstrom at Topanga Mall, 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park
  • Macy’s at Glendale Galleria

The investigations are continuing. Anyone with information about the crimes was urged to call the Organized Retail Crime TaskForce, Detective Arnold, at 818-374-9420. Tipsters may also call 877-LAPD-247, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

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