Northern California authorities are searching for dozens of suspects after multiple smash-and-grab robberies occurred on Nov. 21.
Walnut Creek Police Department confirmed 80 people stormed and looted a Nordstrom department store in the downtown area just before 9 p.m.
Two retail workers, who tried to stop the crime, were allegedly assaulted. Another employee complained about being pepper-sprayed.
Although police officers quickly arrived at the scene they only arrested three people. One of the detainees allegedly carried a firearm, and the incident is being treated as organized crime.
Investigators reviewed surveillance video to try to identify more suspects. Footage has already been posted to social media, showing some suspects fleeing the scene in cars parked outside the store.
“A large mob robbed Sam’s Jewelers inside Southland Mall, Hayward,” KPIX 5 journalist Da Lin said on Twitter. “Witnesses told me [the] first wave of robbers involved about 30 to 40 kids. A second wave with fewer robbers returned to clean it up.”
Lin later posted a different update that workers were “cleaning up” after multiple cases were “smashed.”
Burglaries jumped after state laws were amended to reduce penalties for shoplifting and other offenses, according to San Francisco Police Department.
The crime wave is costing businesses up to $1000 in damages each day. At least 12 CVS Pharmacies in the area have been targeted, resulting in 42 percent of chain-wide losses.