Group of Organized Retail Crime (ORC) thieves targeting luxury retail stores in California
By Laura Harris // Aug 30, 2023

A group of six thieves has ransacked a Nordstrom Rack store in Riverside, making off with thousands of dollars worth of designer bags. It was the second time the store was hit by thieves in just over a month.

The first one happened on July 10, with surveillance footage showing several men and women entering the store and making a bee line for the handbag and accessories section. Their actions were swift and coordinated, as they violently seized bags from display shelves and even tore purses from security lock devices. The thieves fled the scene in a getaway vehicle.

On August 14, the same store was hit again. Two men were caught on camera leaving the store, calmly exiting the store while toting a bag presumably filled with stolen goods. (Related: Retail analyst: Theft is growing at a faster rate than sales.)

Flash robberies involve groups of thieves overwhelming store employees and security personnel, rapidly grabbing high-value items and escaping before law enforcement can respond effectively. These incidents have become increasingly frequent, targeting high-end retailers where thefts often exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A similar incident happened at a Macy's store in Downtown Los Angeles. A group of at least five were filmed ransacking the Macy's store at the Santa Anita shopping mall in Arcadia. The hooded thieves were seen loading bottles of designer perfume into trash bags.

This comes in the wake of a series of high-profile thefts that have shaken the city's retail landscape. In the weeks leading up to these incidents, three women were arrested for allegedly stealing approximately $30,000 worth of designer handbags from a Glendale store.

Another case took place at a Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) store at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, where over 30 thieves swarmed the establishment and made off with an estimated $300,000 worth of merch.

Similar incidents have occurred at a luxury denim store in Gabcock Park, a Nike Store in East LA and a Gucci store at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

Zero cash bail policy in Los Angeles contributes to the increasing crime rate

City officials are pointing to the zero cash bail policy of Los Angeles as a major contributor to the ongoing crime wave. Under this policy, people who are arrested and charged with a crime are released from custody without having to pay bail money upfront.

"The elimination of cash bail for these types of offenses is really an invitation to these kinds of folks who are inclined to break the law and inclined to do it so brazenly," said Tom Saggau, spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass announced the establishment of a regional task force on August 17 to ensure that thieves are held responsible for their actions.

The task force will comprise multiple local police departments, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service and California Highway Patrol. With a team of 22 full-time investigators, the task force will work toward bringing accountability to these crimes.

"No Angeleno should feel like it is not safe to go shopping in Los Angeles. No entrepreneur should feel like it's not safe to open a business in Los Angeles," Bass stated in a press release.

However, many Californians remain skeptical about the effectiveness of the charges, given the previous track record of the city. Officials have assured that people involved in retail theft will be detained, but those facing charges of grand theft might still be granted bail.

Learn more about the deteriorating state of California and its cities at

Watch this video about Democrat cities being destroyed by incentivized shoplifting.

More related stories:

Thieves now targeting containers loaded with electronics and household goods.

Walgreens in San Francisco CHAINING freezers shut to stop thieves from stealing pizza, ice cream 20 times a day.

Class action lawsuit calls out AT&T for aiding cellphone thieves for profit.

Rampant theft prompts NYC grocery stores to consider locking up food.

Flash mobs brazenly rob luxury retailers in Los Angeles as city fails to hold thieves accountable.

Sources include:

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