### Smash-and-Grab Shoplifters Strike Chanel Store at San Diego’s Fashion Valley Mall
San Diego’s Fashion Valley Mall has been hit by a series of smash-and-grab robberies targeting the Chanel store. In the past two weeks, groups of alleged thieves have stolen thousands of dollars worth of handbags from the luxury boutique.
#### Witness Accounts
A woman who witnessed one of the mob-style smash-and-grabs expressed her surprise at the lack of police response. Cindy, who was at the Nordstrom Café in Fashion Valley Mall on November 3, saw several individuals wearing black face masks and blue gloves enter the Chanel Boutique inside Nordstrom. She described the scene as surreal, as she had only seen such incidents on the internet or in other cities. Cindy and her sister were unsure of what to do and felt concerned for their safety. Eventually, the alleged thieves ran out of the store, dropping a purse in the process, and fled towards a getaway car.
#### High-End Merchandise
Chanel handbags listed on the Chanel website range from $5,000 to $10,000 and even more. Cindy, who stayed at the mall for a few hours after the incident, was confused as to why the police had not arrived. She believed that the police presence was necessary to gather witness accounts and potential video evidence of the crime.
#### Police Response
San Diego Police confirmed that there were two smash-and-grabs at the Chanel Store in Fashion Valley Mall this month. The first incident occurred on November 3 at around 10:15 a.m., with five suspects stealing high-end purses from the Chanel store in Nordstrom. The second incident took place on November 8 around noon, with a group of 15-20 people wearing dark clothing, masks, and gloves storming into the Fashion Valley Nordstrom and looting the Chanel store. The police are actively investigating these cases, reviewing surveillance footage, gathering evidence, and seeking witnesses. Anyone with information is urged to contact the police or Crime Stoppers.
#### Mall Security Measures
CBS 8 visited Fashion Valley Mall and observed a San Diego Police car stationed outside Nordstrom. Security officers were also patrolling the area, with one posted right outside Chanel. An employee who had been working during one of the smash-and-grab incidents revealed that the thieves deliberately avoided approaching employees. The Chanel merchandise is securely attached to thick security ropes, but the robbers quickly remove them from the walls and empty the shelves within minutes.
#### Concerns and Increased Security
Cindy hopes that the increased security measures at the mall will continue throughout the busy holiday shopping season and beyond. She expressed her feelings of anger, sadness, and a sense of insecurity, knowing that such incidents are happening and the perpetrators are getting away with it. In an effort to combat organized retail crime, California officials recently announced the allocation of over $267 million to 55 cities and counties for enhanced arrests and prosecutions.
These brazen smash-and-grab robberies have left shoppers and employees at Fashion Valley Mall shaken. The authorities are working diligently to apprehend the suspects and prevent further incidents.
Original Story at www.cbs8.com – 2023-11-14 02:24:00