State Watch

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.

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.

Tags California Chicago Lakewood Los Angeles Minnesota Robbery San Francisco
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