Smash-and-grab robberies hit stores around the country on Black Friday

Several localities across the United States have reported smash-and-grab robberies on Black Friday, contributing to a larger reported number of similar crimes in recent days.

In California, the cities of Lakewood, Los Angeles and Monterey all experienced smash-and-grab robberies on the busy post-Thanksgiving shopping day. 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported that on Friday evening eight people entered a Home Depot in Lakewood, which is a part of Los Angeles County, and went directly to the tool aisle. Officials said that roughly $400 worth of sledgehammers, hammers and crowbars were immediately taken from the store.

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The department noted that the robbers may have gotten inside of a damaged, red Mercedes Benz upon taking off.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Police Department also reported a string of robberies in the city Friday evening. Several of those crimes involved physical altercations with staff: At one store a worker was reportedly sprayed with a chemical agent, while at another multiple employees were said to have been pushed to the ground as the robbers fled.

Meanwhile, in Monterey, $30,000 worth of sunglasses were taken by four people who robbed a Sunglass Hut store at a shopping center on Friday afternoon, police told Action News 8. 

Police described the group as two women and two men between their early and mid-twenties; a store manager told the TV station that the thieves were out of the store in under two minutes.

WGN-TV in Chicago reported that four smash-and-grab robberies took place early Thursday morning and early Friday morning at a Canada Goose retail location, a Foot Locker store, a North Face store and a cell phone store.

The value of the stolen merchandise  was unclear, but the TV station noted that items were taken from all four stores.

A Best Buy in Burnsville, Minn. was also robbed during Black Friday, with a group of between 20 and 30 people hauling off electronics and other goods from the store. 

Earlier this month, a handful of high-end retail stores like Burberry and Louis Vuitton witnessed robberies and vandalism in the San Francisco area. Los Angeles had also already seen several similar crimes in recent days.