Officials are investigating a robbery incident inside the Home Depot store in Los Angeles County, Fox 11 reported on Friday.
“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to reports of a grand theft auto at the Home Depot in the 5000 block of Hardwick Street in Lakewood,” the outlet said.
Officials were told eight individuals who were between ages 15 and 20 grabbed hammers, crowbars, and additional tools from the store. LASD was also informed the group took off in getaway cars parked outside.
One employee said workers tried to stop them.
“We closed the front entrance and they put their sledgehammers up, like whoever got in the way, they were going to hurt them. And then, they actually threatened a customer, but he got away. And then, they just ran out, and the cops got here shortly,” he explained:
According to deputies, the entire hammer section was cleaned out by the suspects. The incident is currently under investigation, the Fox 11 article said.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, a citywide tactical alert has since been lifted in the majority of the city after a “smash-and-grab” robbery occurred inside a high-end shop in Melrose, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
The agency defined a tactical alert as enabling every available officer to respond to an incident if needed, according to CBS Los Angeles.
“Friday around 8:20 p.m., a large group rushed into a clothing store in Beverly Grove and stole several items. The robbery happened in the 8400 block of Melrose Avenue at a Bottega Veneta store location, which sells high-end items,” the outlet said.
It appeared pepper spray was used during the incident, but it was not clear how the group entered the building and if anyone was arrested.
“Six smash-and-grab robberies took place in the Fairfax District, Beverly Grove and Hancock Park on Black Friday,” the CBS report continued.
California has experienced two weeks of “smash-and-grab” burglaries involving flash mobs of suspects going into stores, breaking glass display cases, and leaving with expensive jewelry, purses, electronics, and additional items.
“While smash-and-grab burglaries have become commonplace in California — particularly in San Francisco — the quick succession of the crimes has put shoppers and businesses on edge,” Breitbart News reported Friday.