Shoppers at the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park were in for quite a shock when dozens of thieves ransacked the Nordstrom inside the mall on Saturday, Aug. 12, smashing displays and stealing an estimated $60,000- $100,000 worth of merchandise, authorities said.
The Los Angeles Police Department responded to the mall at around 4 p.m. after hearing reports that between 20 and 50 people ran through the Nordstrom grabbing merchandise, leaving some on the ground and taking armfuls with them.
Police said that no arrests were immediately made. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the scene for a report of an assault, but no one was transported to a hospital.
Videos from the scene show thieves clad in black, most wearing face coverings, grabbing clothes and running out of the store.
Another video of the Topanga Mall smash and grab pic.twitter.com/mzULJBtpMy
— Downtown LA Scanner (@DowntownLAScan) August 13, 2023
The investigation is ongoing. The LAPD found that an estimated $60,000 to $100,000 worth of merchandise was stolen.
“What happened today at the Nordstrom in the Topanga Mall is absolutely unacceptable,” Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement Saturday night. “Those who committed these acts and acts like it in neighboring areas must be held accountable.”
On social media, LAPD commented: “To criminals, it is just property taken. To those who live in the area and patronize the Topanga Mall it is a loss of feeling safe. The LAPD will exhaust all efforts to bring those responsible into custody and seek criminal prosecution.”
The same Nordstrom was hit by flash mob-style robbers in November 2021.
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Saturday’s heist was similar to what Glendale police described as a “flash mob” that struck the Yves Saint Laurent store at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale about 4:50 p.m. Tuesday.
“The suspects stole clothing and other merchandise before fleeing on foot and leaving the location in numerous vehicles,” Glendale Police Department Sgt. Victor Jackson said. “While still under investigation, the estimated loss is approximately $300,000.
“These `flash mob’ burglaries involve a large, coordinated group of individuals simultaneously rushing into the store, overwhelming staff and taking it over,” Jackson added. “The suspects grab as much merchandise as possible before fleeing in multiple vehicles.”
That crime was also captured on video, which was widely circulated.