Black Friday Update – California Flash Mob Robbers Won’t Be Stopped, Will Spread, Says Ex-Chief


A former Philadelphia police commissioner predicted Friday that mass robbery crews would spread out across the country, given their success in a recent spate of California attacks on retailers. His prediction proved correct on Black Friday.

Charles Ramsey, the ex-Philadelphia commissioner, said there’s “no question” that the trend will occur elsewhere.

“This is something now that I really unfortunately think is going to spread,” Ramsey told CNN on Thursday. “Right now it’s in California, but it will spread, there’s no question about it.”

UPDATE: The rising tide of flash mob thieves hit the Bottega Veneta store in the Beverly Grove shopping district on Black Friday at 5:21 PM. LAPD reports that one robber pepper-sprayed a victim as his teammates grabbed merchandise.

Elsewhere, a Home Depot in Lakewood, Calif. was hit at 7:55 PM. An estimated eight people stole sledgehammers, wrenches and assorted hammers, fleeing in 10 getaway cars.

In Minnesota, an estimated 30 people robbed a Best Buy store in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. They entered the Burnsville, Minnesota store shortly after 8 PM and made off with electronics gear.

California’s Bay Area and Los Angeles have been particularly hard hit by the flash mob attacks in the last week. Six smash-and-grab robberies took place in the Fairfax District, Beverly Grove and Hancock Park on Friday.

Last Wednesday, another robbery happened at a Los Angeles-area Nordstrom. The store at the Westfield Topanga & The Village shopping center in Canoga Park was hit at about 7 p.m.

A group of at least five men, one wearing an orange wig, entered the store and stole seven or eight purses before fleeing the scene and jumping into a newer model gray Ford Mustang that sped away from the scene, according to reports from ABC7 and KCAL9. They stole an estimated $20,000 in merchandise.

Earlier in the San Francisco area, a crowd estimated at 80 people attacked another outlet in Walnut Creek.

Newsweek reported that a Burberry and Yves Saint Laurent outlet were also robbed last Friday.

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