As many as 80 looters donning ski masks and armed with crowbars and other weapons stormed into a Nordstrom store near San Francisco over the weekend in what one witness described as an “insane” scene that looked like something “out of a movie.”
“We probably saw 50 to 80 people in ski masks crowbars a bunch of weapons,” said PF Chang manager Brett Barrette in an interview with KGO.
He said he took action when patrons in his restaurant went to the windows to watch the melee.
“They were looting the Nordstrom’s right here. And I thought they were going to start beating cars. I had to start locking doors lock the front door lock the back door,” Barrette added.
“There was a mob of people,” he told CBS SF. “The police were flying in. It was like a scene out of a movie. It was insane.”
Local reports noted that the incident took place around 8:46 p.m. Saturday night at the Walnut Creek location, situated about 25 miles outside of San Fran. Footage tweeted by a local reporter indicated that around 25 vehicles pulled up outside the high-end retailer as people jumped out and ran inside to grab merchandise before fleeing the scene.
#Breaking About 25 cars just blocked the street and rushed into the Walnut Creek Nordstrom making off with goods before getting in cars snd speeding away. At least two people arrested at gunpoint. pic.twitter.com/AG3R94M9L3
— Jodi Hernandez (@JodiHernandezTV) November 21, 2021
Police in Walnut Creek noted that two of the store’s employees were assaulted while one was pepper-sprayed by the thieves.
Walnut Creek Lt. Ryan Hibbs told KPIX that officers managed to take three people into custody while other suspects are currently being sought as well. They included an 18-year-old man from Oakland and two other people, ages 30 and 32, from San Francisco. Police also confiscated a firearm from one of the three.
The San Fran male was charged with robbery, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit burglary, and possession of burglary tools; a female was charged with the unlawful possession of a gun. A third suspect who fled on foot but was apprehended was also charged with possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit burglary, and possession of burglary tools.
“Walnut Creek police investigators are in the process of reviewing surveillance footage to attempt to identify other suspects responsible for this brazen act,” police noted in a Sunday morning news release.
The department also noted on social media Sunday afternoon that police are “actively monitoring intelligence that indicates the group of thieves who stole from the Broadway Plaza Nordstrom last night are considering similar activity later today.”
“This has not been confirmed but, out of an abundance of caution, we’re alerting businesses and residents to be prepared,” the advisory added.
Brazen daylight robberies of retail outlets are becoming more and more common. In September, a Chicago resident used the term “insane” to describe a daylight robbery he witnessed at an Ulta beauty retail outlet.
“Uh-oh…look at this. Wow,” the man says as alarms can be heard in the background. “Look at this. Insane. Insane.
“Yo, this is in the middle of an Ulta, right now,” he says, as the suspected thieves continue cleaning off product shelves.
In July, a San Fran Nieman Marcus store was robbed in a similar fashion. Getaway cars were waiting for them, as well.
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