Group of up to 50 people shoplift about $100K worth of luxury items from L.A. mall, using bear spray against guards


LOS ANGELES — Armed with bear spray, a group of up to 50 people swarmed a Los Angeles mall Saturday and made away with around $100,000 worth of luxury items, officials said.

Thirty to 50 people descended on the Nordstrom store at the Westfield Topanga Mall in Woodland Hills, using the bear spray to neutralize security guards as they made off with thousands of dollars’ worth of luxury handbags and high-end clothing, a police spokesman said.

The call of “numerous persons shoplifting” came shortly after 4 p.m., the LAPD said. Police estimated the loss at $60,000 to $100,000.

“Topanga Division officers were on the scene quickly and have several investigative leads,” the LAPD said in a statement.

There was no immediate word of arrests, and the robbers fled in a BMW and other vehicles.

Thieves ransack a Southern California mall on Aug. 12, 2023.
Thieves ransack a Southern California mall Saturday.TNLA via NBC Los Angeles

In video circulating on social media, people wearing hoods and masks that covered their faces tear down shelves and run out of the store carrying luxury goods.

The aftermath shows broken glass and shelves on the ground.

The LAPD confirmed that bear spray was used neutralize two security guards. There was no immediate word on their condition.

Mayor Karen Bass called the robbery “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Those who committed these acts and acts like it in neighboring areas must be held accountable,” she said in a statement Saturday. “The Los Angeles Police Department will continue to work to not only find those responsible for this incident but to prevent these attacks on retailers from happening in the future.”

On Tuesday, a very similar mob-style robbery took place at an Yves Saint Laurent store at the Americana at Brand in nearby Glendale, NBC Los Angeles reported.

The loss was estimated at $300,000, the station reported.


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