Police-defunded LA: Flash mob of 17 people ransack Nike Store, stealing $12,000 worth of merchandise

LOS ANGELES, CA - Law enforcement officials are asking for the public's help in identifying more than a dozen suspects who reportedly ransacked a Nike Store last week, stealing approximately $12,000 in merchandise. 

According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the incident happened on Sunday, November 19th, around 5:50 p.m., when a total of 17 suspects in five vehicles pulled up to the shopping center on the 9800 block of South Almaeda Street.

Surveillance video of the grand theft shows people in masks and hoods running through the store, stuffing boxes of shoes into trash bags and ripping clothes off racks before fleeing. The LAPD said in a statement, "The suspects, whose faces were concealed by medical masks or other material, ran into a retail store with trash bags in hand. They placed clothing and boxes of shoes in the trash bags and fled from the location without paying for the merchandise."

The suspects have been described as four black females and 13 black males, ranging in ages between 15 to 20 years old. The suspects' vehicles have been described as a tan Infiniti four-door, a gray KIA SUV, a white Honda four-door and a black Audi.

Police said in a statement, "This flash mob used their size in numbers to intimidate and instill fear onto the store employees to prevent them from taking the merchandise."

Video shows the suspects tearing through the store with blue trash bags. One of the suspects was recording wearing a distinctive hooded sweatshirt that had a logo of a bonsai tree and the words, "Ritual of the Spirit." The LAPD said, "They began to pilfer through the store, placed shoe boxes and clothing apparel into the trash bags and ran out of the store without paying for the merchandise."

According to the New York Post, as the thieves rushed through the store, a small child can be heard crying and a woman can be hearing saying, "Y'all all ghetto as (expletive). Can't have (expletive) over here."

Los Angeles resident Marc Mitchell told ABC News, "I just think it's said. It's sad that this is what it's come to." Store employees believe it is the same group responsible for other robberies. This is the 10th time the same crew allegedly robbed the same Nike location.

Locals stood guard outside of the store with one resident saying, "Look. Take a look. We're finally doing something. They need to just leave us alone. They need to go about their business. Don't ever come back here. This community is already rough. They're just making us look bad.

The grand theft incident is being investigated by detectives from the LAPD's Commercial Crimes Division, Organized Crime Retail Taskforce (ORCT). Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact ORCT Detective Juan Campos.

According to a report released by the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ), shoplifting incidents in major U.S. cities are growing fastest in Los Angeles and New York City. CCJ Research Specialist Ernesto Lopez said in a statement, "Shoplifting, especially 'smash and grab' episodes caught on video, has received extensive attention from the media and policymakers, and retailers have cited theft concerns in closing stores and placing goods in locked cases."

He added, "Far better data from law enforcement and the retail industry data is needed to help strengthen our grasp of shoplifting trends. For now, it's unclear if the increase is a result of increased shoplifting, increased reporting from businesses to police, or a combination of both."

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You reep what you sew, you defund the police , thats what you get. I guess theres no jobs for black kids so why are they stealing running shoes? Spare the rod and spoil the child. Look where it gets you

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