According to the National Retail Foundation’s estimates, annual “shrink,”—industry terminology for loss due to retail theft—has climbed to a staggering $100 billion. Bloomberg’s John Gittelsohn reports:
It took just minutes for more than 20 thieves, clad in hoods and masks, to swarm the Nordstrom store in the Westfield Topanga shopping center and make off with $300,000 of handbags and other luxury items. A security guard was blasted in the face with bear spray, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which dubbed it a “flash rob.”
It came just days after at least 30 suspects stole more than $400,000 in merchandise from an Yves Saint Laurent store at a mall in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale and yet another incident when a gang nabbed armloads of Gucci bags from a Bloomingdale’s in Westfield Century City mall.
Fittingly for the Los Angeles area, the daylight raids captured on surveillance cameras and cellphones have gone viral — played repeatedly across social media and local television, and now forcing California Governor Gavin Newsom to take action. This week he awarded $267 million in grants to 55 local agencies to combat the crimes, with money slated for better surveillance technology and also to target criminals in blitz operations across the state.
“Enough with these brazen smash-and-grabs,” Newsom said in a statement. “When shameless criminals walk out of stores with stolen goods, they’ll walk straight into jails.”
Approximately 30 thieves hit the Westfield Topanga Mall Nordstrom in a brazen mob-style smash-and-grab robbery over the weekend. Police say the crooks made off with $60,000 – $100,000 worth of merchandise https://t.co/6FqVh233On pic.twitter.com/WIdtZzBrVE
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) August 14, 2023
California isn’t alone in dealing with a surge in retail theft. The National Retail Federation estimates the cost of “shrink” and other inventory losses has climbed to almost $100 billion a year, ranging from small-time pilfering to Mafia-type cargo heists. Mentions of “theft” and “shrink” have more than doubled in company earnings calls since the first quarter of this year, according to a Bloomberg transcript analysis, with Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. missing analysts’ estimates largely because of theft.
“Losses from theft are at historical highs, and I’d say, we find it unacceptable,” Erik B. Nordstrom, chief executive officer of the eponymous department store chain, said during an earnings call last month. “We’re looking at everything we can do to make our stores are safe and secure.”
Action Line: When progressive politicians refuse to enforce the law and instead give implicit support to rioting and looting, criminals pay attention. Get your gun and your training now. Protecting your family and your business may be up to you. Click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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