A Flash 'rob' mob of teenagers have been caught on video swarming into a Nike store to lift £9.5k ($12k) worth of goods.
More than a dozen suspects in five vehicles flooded the Nike Community Store on South Alameda Street, Los Angeles, shortly before 6pm on Sunday evening. The footage shows the youths swiftly gathering boxes of sneakers and hastily stuff them into blue trash bags, while shoppers and staff helplessly watched on.
With their arms overflowing with stolen clothing, several of the teens had their faces hidden behind black masks. One can be seen wearing a pair of yellow gloves, while another was identified by a 'distinct' sweatshirt featuring a logo of a bonsai tree and the words 'Ritual of the Spirit.'
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The Los Angeles Police Department singled out 17 suspects from the incident.
In a release the department said: "The suspects, whose faces were concealed by medical masks or other material ran into a retail store with trash bags in hand."
"They placed clothing and boxes of shoes in the trash bags and fled from the location without paying for the merchandise."
The release describes the suspects as 'four females and 13 males, ranging in age from 15 to 20-years-old.'
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According to the release, the group arrived at the store in a tan Infiniti a grey KIA SUV, a white Honda, a KIA and a black Audi.
The incident, described as a "grand theft incident," is being investigated by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division, Organize Crime Retail Taskforce (ORCT).
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, Los Angeles County presently holds the highest rate of commercial robberies in the state.
In 2022, there was a significant increase of 28.7% in the state's rates compared to the low levels experienced during the pandemic years.
While the shoplifting rate remains below pre-pandemic levels, this does not account for other types of retail theft like commercial burglary.
Although the shoplifting rate continues to stay lower than pre-pandemic levels, it does not take into account other forms of retail theft such as commercial burglary.
The rate for this particular type of theft has surged by 15.7% compared to the previous year, following a notable 5.8% increase in the preceding year.
Law enforcement authorities have initiated a statewide operation to combat organized retail theft, a problem that is projected to inflict a staggering financial loss of more than $19 billion on the state this year.
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