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More arrests after brazen flash mob robbery at East LA Nike

A general overall aerial view of the Nike East Los Community store on June 29, 2022, in Los Angeles. (Image of Sports/Newscom via ZUMA Press/TNS)

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies cracking down on flash mob robberies arrested 10 more people after a two-day undercover investigation of a recent heist at the Nike Community Store in East Los Angeles, officials announced this weekend.

Investigators also recovered $3,000 worth of merchandise, and of those taken into custody, four were arrested for organized retail theft, according to the department. Two criminal street gangs are associated with the retail theft rings.

The arrests come amid a rash of robberies at brand-name stores from Yves Saint Laurent in Glendale to Nordstrom in Canoga Park.

Earlier this month, Mayor Karen Bass announced a new task force of local and federal agencies to target the crimes.

Just days before her announcement, video captured a group of thieves around 5:30 p.m. Aug. 13 walking out of the Nike store in East Los Angeles with thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise, according to KTLA. They fled in a red SUV.

The sheriff’s department arrested six people in connection with the flash mob after deputies stopped an SUV on Aug. 17 and found large bags with Nike sneakers.

In video of the brazen robbery on the station’s site, one robber is seen calmly walking out with a trash bag overflowing with shoeboxes. The thief clumsily leans over to pick up boxes that fell from the bag as more fall onto the floor.

This most recent operation took place on Thursday and Friday in conjunction with Nike and its loss prevention team in an effort to “apprehend suspects, deter criminal activity, and protect life and property at the Nike Community Store in East Los Angeles.”

Two of the suspects recently arrested had outstanding arrest warrants, one of which was a shoplifting warrant. The suspects’ names were not released, and it’s unclear whether any of them had a connection to the Aug. 13 incident.


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