California police said a “mob of criminals” stole up to $100,000 worth of items from a Los Angeles mall Saturday afternoon, putting the safety of residents in jeopardy. A group entered the Westfield Topanga Shopping Center around 4 p.m. and stole between $60,000 to $100,000 worth of merchandise from a Nordstrom, the Los Angeles Police Department said, according to USA Today. “To criminals, it is just property taken,” police said. “To those who live in the area and patronize the Topanga Mall, it is a loss of feeling safe.” Video footage posted by police shows several people wearing black masks and clothing running out of the store with merchandise, including duffel bags, purses, and other bags. The thieves “must be held accountable,” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said. “What happened today at the Nordstrom in the Topanga Mall is absolutely unacceptable,. 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.”
A similar incident happened earlier in the week in the Los Angeles area. At least 30 people "flooded" the Yves Saint Laurent store at The Americana at Brand in Glendale and stole about $300,000 worth of clothing and other merchandise before fleeing on foot and leaving the location in numerous vehicles, police said. Flash mob burglaries “involve a large, coordinated group of individuals simultaneously rushing into the store, overwhelming staff and taking it over," police said, adding that, “the suspects grab as much merchandise as possible before fleeing in multiple vehicles.” According to data compiled by Bloomberg, retailers like Target, Walmart, Dollar General, and Home Depot have talked about missing inventory more this past quarter than any quarter on record. To them, the loss of profits due to shrinkage, an industry term that refers to the difference between the inventory a store has on its balance sheet and its actual inventory, is concerning. To combat shoplifting, retailers are introducing shorter store hours, self-servicing locking cabinets, and smart shopping carts.