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Flash mob smash-and-grabs continue in high-end Los Angeles stores

A wave of lightning robberies continued in Los Angeles as organized groups grabbed expensive merchandise in pre-Thanksgiving raids on stores in the Beverly Center and a Nordstrom in Canoga Park.

A security guard was attacked with bear spray as several people entered the Nordstrom of Westfield Topanga & The Village shopping center in Canoga Park on Wednesday evening, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a press release.

In interviews with local television stations, LAPD deputy chief Alan Hamilton said the burglars fled with several high-end handbags.

Hamilton told CBS Los Angeles that additional officers had been deployed to the mall but the burglars were able to avoid them.

The LAPD was also investigating a similar incident in which groups entered several Beverly Center stores on Wednesday, seized merchandise and ran out.

Officers were looking for leads to catch those involved, the press release said.

The heists came two days after an organized group broke into a Nordstrom mall in the Grove Mall, smashing a window and stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise.

Los Angeles Police have arrested three suspects in connection with this incident. Officers recovered several items of clothing, at least one cash register, and gloves from the suspects’ vehicle.

LAPD chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission on Tuesday that the department would step up its patrols and devote resources to some high-end locations to deter the wave of crowd thefts.

In another heist on Monday, six people entered a CVS pharmacy in the 5800 block of South Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles and stole three cash registers, taking approximately $ 8,500 in cash, police said.

Burglars used a sledgehammer on Sunday to try to smash the windows of Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Beverly Hills.

They were unable to enter stores and nothing was taken away, police said.

In Contra Costa County, Dist. Atty. Diana Becton announced Wednesday that three people were arrested and charged in a burglary in which about 90 people stormed a Nordstrom in Walnut Creek on November 20, using three separate entrances.

By parking 25 cars in front of the store, the group stole more than $ 100,000 in about a minute, according to a criminal complaint.

One Nordstrom employee was sprayed with pepper, another assaulted with a knife and two others were punched or punched, according to the complaint.

Dana Dawson, 30, Joshua Underwood, 32, and Rodney Robinson, 19, were arrested by the Walnut Creek Police Department and charged with conspiracy, burglary, robbery and organized theft in retail stores.

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