Los Angeles police announce 14 arrests in connection to smash-and-grab thefts

California officials on Thursday announced that they had made 14 arrests in connection to the smash-and-grab robberies happening around the state.

None of the suspects remain in custody, Mayor Eric GarcettiEric GarcettiBass raises nearly million since launching LA mayor campaign Los Angeles mayor nominates city's first female fire chief Former aide says she felt 'abandoned' by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India MORE and Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said during a press conference, adding that one suspect is a minor.

The suspects are not in custody due to a zero-bail policy established last year for certain crimes to reduce the jail population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspects either posted bail or were released without bail, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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“There are people who need to be behind bars,” Garcetti said. “We have opened up a lot of the city because we’re in a better place with COVID. We should be able to also open up our jails, and we should be able to have judges that put people behind those bars as well.”

Garcetti reassured people that shopping is still safe during the holiday season, adding that police have the full support of him and the City Council. He also urged people to be aware of their surroundings while in public.

“It’s not something we’ve seen too often,” he said of the robberies. “It’s such a bold and brazen crime. It kind of cuts to the heart of what we believe a city should be.”

Moore said that reports of these type of robberies initially came from cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco in early November.

“These crimes were characterized with multiple suspects working together and coordinating instances involving destruction of property, assault on store employees and caravans of vehicles parking very close to high-end retail stores,” he said.

The chief initially reached out to his counterparts in those cities for more information on responding to the robberies.

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“Unfortunately, that landed on our doorstep beginning the 18th of November, when the first incident occurred of a robbery at the Ksubi clothing store located in Wilshire Division on South La Brea,” he said. “Their property loss was $10,000. The suspects involved in that incident are still outstanding.”

Between Nov. 18-28, police responded to 11 incidents: four robberies, six burglaries and one grand theft, according to Moore.

He noted the amount of money stolen in the small number of robberies is "striking."  

"$338,000 worth of property was stolen across the course of those 11 instances, and more than $40,000 worth of property damage,” he said.

Moore added that police believe stolen merchandise is being resold.

“The chain of responsibility extends all the way … to the buyer willing to pay a discounted rate to get a deal,” he said.