YSL Flash Mob Robbery Plagues Glendale, But They’re Not Alone

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October 2, 2023

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(GLENDALE, Calif.) — Police in Glendale, California, have arrested five people in connection to a flash mob robbery at the Yves Saint Laurent store at the Americana at Brand Mall last month.

A group of 30 people rushed into the YSL store during the afternoon of Aug. 8 with a mission to ransack and rob the high-end fashion brand, police said. They racked up $400,000 worth of goods before fleeing on foot. A flash mob robbery is a form of organized crime in which squads of individuals abruptly enter a store, take as many items as possible, and leave.

Unfortunately, this is not the most recent occurrence of a succession of thefts that have taken place in Southern California; many of which have happened days apart. Flash mob robberies have been reported at Gucci in the Costa Mesa Mall; Nordstrom at the Westfield Topanga Mall in Woodland Hills; and a jewelry store in Irvine.

“Expect an elevated police presence in and around the downtown Glendale corridor,” Chief Manny Cid of the Glendale Police Department said in a written statement.

The Americana at Brand outdoor mall [Credit: Caruso]

In an effort to combat retail crime, several police departments including Glendale Police Department, created the Organized Retail Theft Task Force (ORCT) on Aug. 21.

“These ‘flash mob’ robberies and burglaries are organized retail crime. They are costing retailers millions of dollars,” Sgt. Victor Jackson with the Glendale Police Department said. Since the ORCT launched, the frequency of flash mob robberies have been reduced, but there are still more suspects on the loose, Jackson said.

Because of their joint collaboration, Glendale Police Department and ORCT have managed to arrest 20 total suspects between Aug. 21 and as recent as Sept. 10.

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