- At least 80 people were involved in a mass looting incident at a Nordstrom store in San Francisco.
- Videos from the scene appear to show people dashing out of the store and hopping into getaway cars.
- The local police department confirmed the arrests of three people out of some 80 suspects.
A Nordstrom store in San Francisco was overrun by dozens of looters on Saturday night who tore through the department store, grabbing merchandise and fleeing in waiting cars.
Around 80 suspects were involved in what law enforcement is calling a smash-and-grab incident in Walnut Creek, a county east of San Francisco.
Police arrested three people in connection with the incident, per a press release from the Walnut Creek police department. San Francisco natives Dana Dawson, 30, and Joshua Underwood, 32, and 18-year-old Rodney Robinson, from Oakland, were named by the police.
“Police are investigating what was clearly a planned event, with the initial calls coming into the department about cars driving recklessly in the area shortly before 9 p.m.,” read the police press release. It added that Nordstrom employees called law enforcement when around 80 people entered the store and grabbed merchandise.
“Two employees were assaulted, and one was pepper-sprayed by the suspects,” said the police department. The authorities added that they managed to stop one of the getaway cars waiting outside and arrest two people — including Dawson, who was in possession of a firearm.
The police department added that the rest of the mob managed to flee the area “in cars at high speeds.” There were at least ten different vehicles involved in the crime, per CNN.
Brett Barrette, one of the managers of P.F. Chang’s restaurant across from the Nordstrom store, told CBS affiliate KPIX News that the incident was “insane,” prompting him to lock the front and back doors of the restaurant to protect himself and the diners inside.
“I probably saw 50 to 80 people in like ski masks with crowbars, a bunch of weapons,” he said. “They were looting the Nordstrom. There was a mob of people. The police were flying in. It was like a scene out of a movie. It was insane.”
Videos shared on Facebook appeared to show people carrying bags fleeing and hopping into several getaway cars parked outside the store.
Nordstrom did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
The Walnut Creek police department said in an announcement on November 22 that it was “actively monitoring intelligence” about the group of thieves that indicated that they might have been planning another similar heist.
“This has not been confirmed, but out of an abundance of caution, we’re alerting businesses and residents to be prepared,” said the police department. “The PD is calling out additional officers and reserves, and some stores may consider closing early or taking other precautions. There is no specific time or target known right now.”
“Grab-and-go” crimes have occurred several times over the last week. In one, at least 14 suspects charged into a Louis Vuitton store in Oak Brook, Illinois, last Wednesday and made off with at least $120,000 in goods, per a report from CNN affiliate WLS. A Louis Vuitton location at San Francisco’s Union Square was also sacked on November 19 in a similar smash-and-grab crime, prompting local authorities to limit car access to the area.