Smash-and-Grab Thieves Hit High-end Retailers in San Jose, Hayward, Walnut Creek and San Francisco

This story has been updated.

Police agencies across the Bay Area are alerting businesses and residents that the brazen mass smash-and-grab attackers who targeted high-end stores in San Jose, Hayward, Walnut Creek and San Francisco may be planning more thefts the year’s biggest retail shopping weekend approaches.

Changes in hours and security were being discussed by major retailers as the looting attacks cast a grim shadow on Thanksgiving shopping for thousands of stores and their customers.

The dozens of looters who rushed Walnut Creek's Nordstrom on Saturday night made off with between $100,000 and $200,000 worth of merchandise, Walnut Creek police said Monday.

Walnut Creek Police Lt. Hollie Connors said up to 80 masked bandits blocked the street up and down Broadway Plaza with up to 25 vehicles that had license plates covered from possible identification.

Though the city had begun placing officers inside Nordstrom earlier this year after similar smash-and-grab robberies, no officers were on site just before 9pm Saturday when the coordinated attack took place.

Three employees were injured, including one who was pepper-sprayed.

Police arrested three suspects Saturday night, at least one with a gun, as dozens more fled.

The robbery may have been part of a larger string of robberies happening at jewelry and other high-end stores around the Bay Area.

On Sunday night, 8 to 10 suspects with hammers hit Sam's Jewelry at Hayward's Southland Mall. About an hour later, suspects rushed high-end athletic apparel store Lululemon in San Jose's Santana Row, making off with merchandise.

Connors said it's not clear whether there's a connection. She said police believed another attempt would be made at Nordstrom Sunday night, and police blocked off ether end of the street and put its ready and react team on alert. No trouble was reported.

“I don't know if that made them divert, or what happened,” Connors said. "We had some information that that same group might come back. We prepared.”

Walnut Creek Mayor Kevin Wilk said the city will keep Broadway Plaza free of cars at least through the holidays.

“This is really all hands on deck,” Wilk said. “We'll have more police downtown. We'll be monitoring online chatter and communicating with all our stores.”

Connors said police resources and staffing aren't optimum right now, and people may be taking advantage.

“Police agencies are hurting right now,” Connors said.

She said there was an officer posted at the nearby Apple Store Saturday night, who was alerted to what were initially reported as a high number of reckless driving incidents around the plaza. Police responded quickly, but were hampered by the sheer number of suspects driving away in so many vehicles.

“We doing what we can do, with increased foot patrols on weekends,” Connors said, adding that departments may need better coordination and more joint efforts.

Wilk said he expects more arrests as more video evidence is analyzed. He spent much of Monday in meetings about the city response, including discussions with other mayors on how to coordinate. He said the city also needs county help.

“We need the D.A. to charge and prosecute these cases to the full extent of the law,” Wilk said. "If people see they're going to be caught, they'll think twice. We need to make people feel safe in Walnut Creek. We demand it.”

Hayward police said 8 to 10 individuals carrying sledgehammers entered Sam's Jewelry in Southland Mall around 5:25 p.m. Sunday, smashed several jewelry cases, and fled carrying an unknown amount of loot.

No arrests were made. The suspects fled in several vehicles, Hayward police Lt. Mark Ormsby said.

The Hayward incident happened about an hour before a group of thieves hit high-end athletic apparel store lululemon in San Jose.

San Jose police say a group of suspects entered lululemon in Santana Row at approximately 6:30pm Sunday and made off with merchandise.

Lululemon store in Santana Row was hit by thieves.
Photo from Santana Row via Facebook

San Jose Police spokesman Sgt.Christian Camarillo said the group was gone before police arrived and couldn't provide any more information about the ongoing investigation.

Ormsby said it's still too early to tell if the incidents are related.

Police estimate up to 80 people stormed Nordstrom in Walnut Creek Saturday night, assaulting three employees and making off with thousands of dollars in expensive goods.

Police on Sunday were reviewing surveillance footage in hopes of tracking down more suspects involved in what authorities described as an organized looting at Walnut Creek's Broadway Plaza on Saturday night.

Three suspects were arrested shortly after the mob descended on a Nordstrom department store about 9pm, police said.

An 18-year-old Oakland man and two people from San Francisco, ages 30 and 32, were taken into custody on suspicion of crimes that include burglary, robbery, conspiracy and possession of stolen property. Police also seized a gun from one of the suspects.

About 80 people were involved in the looting spree and most drove away at high speeds after ransacking the store, police said

Two Nordstrom staffers were assaulted during the looting and one was pepper-sprayed. The event was clearly planned, Walnut Creek police said.

The brazen looting followed on the heels of another mob that descended on several retail outlets in San Francisco's Union Square on Friday night.

Police have arrested multiple suspects in the San Francisco thefts.

Police in Walnut Creek are alerting businesses and residents that looters who targeted the Nordstrom store Saturday may be planning more thefts..

An estimated 80 thieves ransacked the store in Walnut Creek’s Broadway Plaza Saturday, but just three were arrested.

“This has not been confirmed, but out of an abundance of caution, we're alerting businesses and residents to be prepared,” Walnut Creek police said in a community-wide social media advisory.

21 Comments

  1. defund the police

    decriminalize crime

    people over profits

    this is what you wanted, no?

    well, you got it

  2. Organized robberies are only going to increase until society decides to construct public punishments designed to severely and swiftly punish this vermin.
    David S. Wall

  3. The MSM had no problem whatsoever, calling the mob that stormed the Capitol building “white Trump supporters” which may or may not have been what some of those perps were. On the other hand, media outlets that do not report the race of people “of color” when they’re committing crimes nevertheless report racial disparities – actual, perceived, or otherwise – in arrest, imprisonment, and police shootings, then write or broadcast heated editorials blaming everybody from Christopher Columbus, long dead slave owners, the police, and or the criminal-justice system in a disingenuous attempt at making excuses for criminal behavior.
    “Smash and Grab” notwithstanding, what the authorities and the media seem determined to suppress is the fact that the black thug element in dozens of communities launch coordinated attacks on Asians, whites, and others in public places. Episodes of unprovoked attacks by young blacks against random “non-people of color” on beaches, in shopping malls, at state fairs, or in other public places have occurred in Oakland, Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles, and other places all across the country.
    The American media ignores the complexion of the perpetrators in these incidents, doing NOBODY any favors. As often as not, they bury – or destroy – any evidence supporting such criminal activity presented to them. Something had better be done, as clearly, there is an escalation at hand in these and other crimes. Walk into MY jewelry store with a sledge hammer? As far as I’m concerned, you’re armed. Then you’re shot!

  4. Did anyone ask Supervisor Susan Ellenberg for comment? next time she is up for election remember her Pro-Crime/ Anti-Jail votes.

    ….Supervisor Susan Ellenberg requested the deferral on the new jail ….

    “Ellenberg, along with Supervisor Cindy Chavez, brought forth a proposal to explore ways to explore the criminal legal system, …. in an effort to reduce jail populations …”

    Ellenberg said: “Focusing on equity is essential to our collective recovery.”
    – Investment in community-based alternatives to the criminal-legal system

  5. A good time to note that DA Jeffrey Rosen is up for reelection, with two opponents.

    One, Sajid Khan, is a public defender running on what can only be described as a “soft-on-crime” platform.

    The other candidate, prosecutor Daniel Chung, appears to be running on a carefully-worded and moderated “tough on crime” approach.

    Many are attributing the rise in crime to the passage of Prop 47, which turned shoplifting into a misdemeanor for all thefts less than $950. Most California district attorneys opposed this measure, but Jeffrey Rosen was one of two district attorneys who supported it (the other being SF’s district attorney).

    Pay attention to the bills being passed in the legislature, and how your representatives vote. Of note, for example, is Assembly Bill 1215, which put a 3-year moratorium on police agencies from using facial scanning technology. Assemblymember Evan Low deserves recognition for bucking the majority of his party and voting no, while Ash Kalra and Kansen Chu voted yes. Jim Beall abstained in the Senate.

  6. Un accidente, de cualquier tipo, puede cambiar tu vida de una forma radical, los daños y heridas, físicas y emocionales, pueden ser un parte-aguas en tu vida. Por eso, las aseguradoras y la parte culpable deben de cubrir los daños, pero se negarán a hacerlo, por eso es necesario que contactes a nuestro bufete los Abogados De Accidentes Ahora En Huntington Park.

  7. far safer to just put your Tiffany and LV out on the curb or in your unlocked car in the driveway. speaking from experience, that’s all they take anyway. no matter how many times a rapper says Gucci, the burglars in the know, know better, no Fendi, no Gucci, Tiffany and LV only, now they’ll take your Hermes, but I don’t even think they expect that…

    do NOT lock your car door at night, you’ll just have to replace the window anyway and if you keep your “valuables” in your house, they’ll just make a mess (and leave every door open to ease emergency escape if needed) and the police will leave fingerprint dust everywhere if there is a break-in

    listen, you don’t deserve nice things when your ancestors had slaves and you mere existence perpetuates white supremacy, but at least this way you can file a claim for these reparations – no promises on the next round of payouts

    enjoy your New America

  8. To all the liberal bay area voters: NO WHINERS! You finally got what you deserve. Also Sam Liccardo had no comment along with Rosen. Hey Willow Glen remember all those Sam for mayor lawn signs in every yard? Bunch of fools!!!!!!

  9. I’ll add my two cents…

    Vote differently, or continue to live with it. Hope it isn’t your loved one who becomes a victim.

  10. San Francisco’s solution to the problem: Shut down the stores, or at least access to them during the busiest shopping season. This will not turn out well for them or other areas in California.

  11. Just remember it is NOT PC to call this “Looting” or the people Looting “Looters”. It may hurt their feelings or they may call you a racist.

    —-‘Experts:’ Don’t Refer to The Bay Area Looting as ‘Looting,’ Guys— (GBenson, Nov2021)

    As normal people react negatively to Mass Looting, the never-defunded (Equity Minded) ‘Language Police’ are out in force:

    “Experts caution use of ‘looting’ in describing rash of Bay Area smash & grabs
    — ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea)

    “Looting is a term that we typically use when people of color or urban dwellers are doing something. We tend not to use that term for other people when they do the exact same thing,”
    “we don’t know the identities or races of the majority of the thieves involved in this crime wave.”
    Said Lorenzo Boyd, Ph.D.,
    Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion for the university.

    Even Liberal Talk Host Bill Maher thinks the DEMs have gone Too WOKE…

    “Why are @TheDemocrats who support so many issues that benefit the middle class still considered “OUT Of TOUCH” by 62% of America?
    #DemIntervention #Midterms2022 #WokeIsAJoke
    — Bill Maher (@billmaher)
    November 20, 2021

  12. How can we consider ourselves to be a county of law and order if we let children get raped?

    Everyone has a right to due process. That means that if you file a motion, you should be able to argue that motion in front of a judge. It also means that if you are to be declared mentally incompetent, that declaration needs to be based on the results of a valid assessment.

    This right to due process is especially important in my case because there is already evidence that my children are in danger of sexual abuse.

  13. I have been telling the appropriate people since 2017 that my kids are being sexually abused. Now a psychologist is saying that the mere fact of reporting is a sign of a “psychiatric difficulty”.

    They did the same exact thing in another case:

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/06/12/court-docs-victim-says-santa-clara-county-knew-of-juvenile-counselor-rape-years-before-he-was-exposed/

    What is the point of saying that child rape is illegal if people who report it will be accused of being crazy?

  14. Maybe the next time that there is a looting: we should just have the person who reported deemed mentally incompetent.

    We could live in a delusion that it never happened.

  15. “Looters” is a racist term? The Left continues to be more diseased than ever.

    Never mind that it was plain as could be that the looters, the term that was properly used, after the Paradise fire were WHITE.

    The farther north of the state = White Thugs, White Drugs

    Meanwhile, in LA, the protesting, the rebellion, the uprising

    https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2017/04/25/triptych-riots-looting_custom-f077fdac39f7e16b70946f3bdceef4ed16b93932-s1000-c85.webp

  16. My youngest was just two years old when he started showing signs of being sexually molested. I don’t understand why anyone would want to cover this up. He needs to be both protected and rehabilitated.

    This is something that everyone needs to be wary of. It is not something that should only be addressed when it happens to oneself. No one will be heard then.

    I hope more people start to speak out.

  17. It would appear that the leftist are assuming and publicly stating that the looters are black. How did they know this? We haven’t seen any mugshots released have we? Oh, I see they came to the conclusion through common sense?

    The hit dog always hollers.

  18. Rosen said, “We’re trying to set the message straight that there are consequences for doing this and you’ll spend a lot of time behind bars.”

    Gov Newsome said that he wanted to make an example of the people recently arrested in SF.

    Both Newsome and Rosen supported Prop 47. Both have been advocates of letting some very serious criminals out of jail with no bail. Both have been “very concerned” about releasing prisoners because of Covid.

    For those of you who have read any of my sardonic screeds posted on this Marists (or terminally Pollyannaish) Yellow Sheet, you may have surmised that my thoughts cover both sides of the political spectrum – except, of course, when dealing with vote grubbing ideologs. With them, I am not on the Left or the Right, I am on the side of “vote the bums out.” We have a lot of voting to do.😂

    Has Newsome ever read the constitution? Has Liccardo ever cared about it. It is unconscionable to single out a couple of offenders and demand that “they be made an example to others.” The courts are not in the business of “making examples” out of people. The courts should try each case and sentence each and every defendant, if found guilty, on the merits and evidence their particular case.

    It is likes of Rosen and Newsome who have inflected (along with all the political mannequins who voted for Prop 47) this wave of lawlessness on California.

    The voters need to repeal Prop 47 and vote out all those who continue to support the idea of no bail and that low-level offences are not a meaningful threat to public safety and societal order.

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