Increase in smash-and-grab robberies
Recent years have seen an alarming increase in large-scale thefts targeting retailers in California, as well as in cities like New York, Chicago and Minneapolis.
Criminal groups have resorted to coordinated mass shoplifting events or brazenly entering stores to execute smash-and-grab robberies. Last month, a Nordstrom store in the Westfield Topanga Shopping Center was swarmed by dozens of individuals in a flash mob-style attack, with losses estimated between $60,000 and $100,000. Videos of these incidents have gone viral, drawing attention to the severity of the problem.
High-end retailers, such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, have also fallen victim to these daring criminals, prompting authorities to establish dedicated task forces to investigate these crimes.
Brian Cornell, CEO of Target, revealed that shoplifting incidents involving “violence or threats of violence” had surged by 120% in the first five months of the year.