Apple, Nordstrom stores hit in latest smash-and-grab robberies

An Apple and Nordstrom were robbed on Wednesday in California, the latest in a string of smash-and-grab robberies that have spurred an increasingly hard-line response from officials. 

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said Nordstrom was robbed by five people on Wednesday evening, The Associated Press reported, with the robbers taking seven to eight expensive purses.

The robbers pepper-sprayed a security guard at Westfield Topanga Mall before fleeing the scene in a car. The security guard was treated at the scene as police and ambulances arrived, but no arrests were made. 

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An Apple store in Santa Rosa was also robbed on Wednesday of $20,000 in merchandise, according to the police.

"In a brazen daytime burglary in front of customers and staff, the suspects grabbed over $20,000 worth of merchandise from the store and fled the area in an unknown vehicle," Santa Rosa police said in a statement.

The two robberies are the latest in a string of organized retail theft in California that law enforcement agencies are struggling to contain. 

The district attorney for San Francisco charged nine people in connection to multiple organized robberies in the city on Wednesday.

Police have been increasing security at stores in response to the thefts, and California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomAlarm grows over smash-and-grab robberies amid holiday season Newsom pledges increased spending on busting retail crime rings The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks up bright side beneath omicron's cloud MORE (D) for has called mayors to increase efforts to deter the crimes. 

The Hill has reached out to the LAPD for further comment.