At least 18 people broke into and robbed a Nordstrom store on Monday and 10 broke into a Home Depot on Friday in Los Angeles County, California, leaving with a range of stolen tools and clothes as smash-and-grab robberies surge across the United States, according to CNN.
The Nordstrom department store robbery occurred in the City of Los Angeles, and looters stole an estimated $25,000 worth of merchandise, Los Angeles Daily News reported.
The break-in of Home Depot in Lakewood, which happened later in the week, followed a mall shooting in North Carolina and the looting of a Best Buy in Minnesota the same day.
The thieves stole hammers, sledgehammers, crowbars, and other tools from Home Depot. Similar tools have been used in smash-and-grab cases this year at retail stores.
Both incidents occurred at night at around the same time, Nordstrom at 7:45 p.m. and Home Depot at around 8 p.m. PT.
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department did not have details about the getaway vehicle or the number of items stolen Friday night at the Home Depot store but are investigating.
On Wednesday, four suspects walked into an Apple store in Santa Rosa, 55 miles north of San Francisco, and stole more than $20,000 worth of merchandise in broad daylight, authorities said, according to Fox News.
The Chicago area has seen similar smash-and-grab robberies, including one in which a Louis Vuitton store had between $100,000 and $200,000 in merchandise stolen last week, per Fox.
Security experts told the network that various reasons are contributing to the spike of theft in American cities.
"Not only is it being tolerated because we're seeing it more, but we're seeing there's no prosecution involved in this," Pete Eliadis, a former law enforcement official and CEO of security company Intelligence Consulting Partners, said. "Law enforcement is not going to engage with that type of element because it's an accepted crime."
Authorities in Los Angeles have also warned of "follow-home" robberies, where suspects target victims and follow them home or to isolated areas such as a parking lot and rob them, Fox reported.
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