A large-scale theft took place Saturday night at a Nordstrom department store in Walnut Creek, the San Francisco Bay Area, California. About 80 people, some wearing ski masks and wielding crowbars, stealed merchandise before fleeing in cars waiting outside. Police declared a “smash-and-grab” incident. Dozens of police cars responded. Walnut Creek Police Department said that one employee was pepper sprayed and two others were kicked and punched. Witnesses described a chaotic scene. Only three people were arrested and a firearm was recovered. “A number of vehicles were leaving. We managed to stop one of them,” said Lt. Ryan Hibbs at the Walnut Creek Police Department.
Two males were charged with robbery, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit burglary and possession of burglary tools. Police have not yet estimated a dollar amount for the stolen items. Cellphone video from the scene showed masked people streaming out of the store, carrying bags and boxes, jumping into the cars and fleeing the scene. The incident came a day after in a similar action several high-end stores in San Francisco’s Union Square were broken into by a large group of people who smashed windows, stole merchandise, and then ran to waiting cars. A Louis Vuitton store, a Burberry store, a jewelry store, a Bloomingdale’s, a Walgreens, cannibis dispensaries and even an eyeglass shop were affected.