Authorities in California are concerned after a pair of flash mobs cleared out two high-end department stores near San Francisco. The first robbery occurred on Friday (November 19) when a group of masked individuals ransacked a Louis Vuitton store amid protests following the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. Looters also targeted other stores in the area, including a Burberry store, a Bloomingdale's, a Walgreens, and several cannabis dispensaries.
Officials said that eight people were arrested in connection with those robberies.
On Saturday, looters struck again when a flash mob of at least 80 masked people stormed a Nordstrom department store in Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, which is about 30 minutes east of San Francisco. The group was armed with crowbars and pepper spray and left bystanders terrified as they ripped merchandise off the shelves and even grabbed items from shoppers. Two employees suffered minor injuries.
"There was a mob of people," Brett Barrett, the manager of a nearby restaurant, told KPIX. "The police were flying in. It was like a scene out of a movie. It was insane. ... It was a scary scene for a moment."
The group fled in ten different cars, but authorities managed to stop one of the vehicles and took the occupants into custody.
"Three people are under arrest today following an organized theft at the Broadway Plaza Nordstrom in Walnut Creek last night. Police are investigating what was clearly a planned event, with the initial calls coming into the department about cars driving recklessly in the area shortly before 9:00 p.m.," Walnut Creek police said in a press statement Sunday.
Investigators have not determined if the two incidents were related and are trying to track down those responsible. In addition, they are still trying to determine exactly how much merchandise was stolen.