Los Angeles retail robbers use chemical spray on security guard

Thieves stole expensive merchandise at the Topanga Mall Nordstrom in LA, attacking the security guard with a chemical spray

ByAndrew Morris KGO logo
Friday, November 26, 2021
New SoCal smash-and-grab: No smash needed
Thieves stole expensive merchandise at the Topanga Mall Nordstrom in Los Angeles, attacking the security guard with a chemical spray.

CANOGA PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- The Los Angeles Police Department has promised to put more police on the streets to combat the concerning trend of organized retail crime at major shopping centers.

RELATED: Experts caution use of 'looting' in describing rash of Bay Area smash and grabs

The latest incident was a brazen robbery targeting the Nordstrom store at the Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park in Southern California. In this case, the thieves didn't have to 'smash' in order to grab.

RELATED: Expert explains why stolen merchandise doesn't always end up being returned to retail stores

The suspects raced in through an open door and grabbed expensive merchandise while customers were shopping, according to police.

RELATED: SF Louis Vuitton theft: Prior criminal history revealed in suspects' 1st court appearance

"Seeing what happened in Northern California, where we had a series of jurisdictions around the San Francisco Bay Area have an excess of 20 or 30 attempted burglaries and these flash mobs that arrived," said Michel Moore, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, "we immediately acted recognizing the impact this is having on retailers and a sense of safety on our communities."

One security guard on patrol was sprayed with some kind of chemical, but was treated by paramedics, according to investigators.

VIDEO: More than $50K in merchandise stolen from Lululemon in Santana Row and Westfield Valley Fair Mall

"We're not gonna allow this to go on unaddressed," said Moore. "We're gonna aggressively pursue, identify them and bring them before the criminal justice system."