On Saturday evening, dozens of looters armed with crowbars and other weapons bum-rushed a Nordstrom department store in an upscale community in the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Walnut Creek Police Department told NBC Bay Area that Nordstrom employees were pepper-sprayed and beaten while as many as 80 people ransacked the store.
The incident occurred around 2046 PST, according to police. A manager of a PF Chang's said he had to lock the restaurant as a fleet of cars, as many as 25, pulled up in front of Nordstrom, and an army of thieves ran into the retail store, grabbed merchandise, loaded it in waiting cars and drove off.
PF Chang's manager Brett Barrette described the chaos to ABC 7 News.
"We probably saw 50 to 80 people in ski masks crowbars a bunch of weapons. They were looting the Nordstrom's right here. And I thought they were going to start beating cars. I had to start locking doors lock the front door lock the back door," Barrette said.
Jodi Hernandez, a reporter with NBC Bay Area, was across the street when the flash mob struck the retailer. She captured a video of people running with stolen merchandise back to the line of cars as they drove away.
#Breaking About 25 cars just blocked the street and rushed into the Walnut Creek Nordstrom making off with goods before getting in cars snd speeding away. At least two people arrested at gunpoint. pic.twitter.com/AG3R94M9L3— Jodi Hernandez (@JodiHernandezTV) November 21, 2021
Hernandez said it appeared many looters got away. However, three were arrested. There were even reports that one looter was armed with a gun and fired at police officers.
Walnut Creek Police said the smash and grab incident was not connected to the countrywide protests over the not-guilty verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.
There was also no mention if the Walnut Creek incident was connected to a flash mob that ransacked a Louis Vuitton store 27 miles in downtown San Francisco.
Ever since San Francisco officials passed Proposition 47, which lowered penalties for thefts under $950, there's been a dramatic increase in shoplifting. Another liberal measure that has backfired as the Bay Area is now swarming with organized thieves targeting retailers. So which retailer is next?