80 Looters Hit Nordstrom Store in California

The day after other lootings nearby
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2021 2:25 AM CST
Updated Nov 22, 2021 6:54 AM CST
80 Looters Hit Nordstrom Store in California
Union Square visitors look at damage to the Louis Vuitton store on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, after looters ransacked businesses late Saturday night in San Francisco.   (Danielle Echeverria/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

(Newser) – About 80 people, some wearing ski masks and wielding crowbars, ransacked a high-end department store in the San Francisco Bay Area, assaulting employees and stealing merchandise before fleeing in cars waiting outside, police and witnesses said. Three people were arrested while the majority got away after the large-scale theft Saturday night shocked shoppers at the Nordstrom at the Broadway Plaza outdoor mall in Walnut Creek, police said in a statement Sunday. Two employees were assaulted and one was hit with pepper spray during what police called "clearly a planned event," the AP reports.

NBC Bay Area reporter Jodi Hernandez tweeted that she saw the thieves rush into the store in the downtown shopping district in the city some 20 miles northeast of San Francisco. “About 25 cars just blocked the street and rushed into the Walnut Creek Nordstrom making off with goods before getting in cars and speeding away,” Hernandez said on Twitter. 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. Brett Barrette, the manager of a nearby PF Chang's restaurant, began locking doors at his establishment while watching the chaos unfold. “We probably saw 50 to 80 people in ski masks, crowbars, a bunch of weapons," Barrette told ABC 7 News.

The Walnut Creek Police Department said a firearm was recovered from one of the three arrested suspects. Nordstrom employees began calling 911 around 9pm as thieves entered the store and began stealing merchandise, police said. “Walnut Creek Police investigators are in the process of reviewing surveillance footage to attempt to identify other suspects responsible for this brazen act,” the department said in Sunday's statement. The incident came a day after 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, police said. (Read more looting stories.)

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