Police arrest suspects who may have swarmed Lakewood Home Depot to steal tools

Four suspects who police believe might be involved in the flash mob robbery of at least $400 in merchandise from a Home Depot in the Lakewood Center Mall were in custody today after being arrested in Beverly Hills.

Officers from the Beverly Hills Police Department received a call regarding several vehicles driving with no license plates near Beverly Drive and Dayton Way just after 9 p.m. Friday, Sgt. Jeff Newman of the Beverly Hills Police Department told City News Service.

Officers made a traffic stop on one of them and soon took the suspects into custody.

“We’re currently working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to see if there is a link to the Lakewood Home Depot incident or any other crimes that have been committed,” Newman said.

Approximately eight males entered the store at 7:46 p.m. Friday, walked directly to the tool aisle and stole various sledgehammers, crowbars and hammers, said Deputy Miguel Meza of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

Store employees told Fox 11 a group of up to 20 males from 15 to 20 years old pulled up to the store in up to 10 cars, put on ski masks and began stealing sledgehammers and crowbars.

“We tried to stop them,” store employee Luis Romo told Fox 11. “We closed the front entrance and they put their sledgehammers up and whoever got in the way, they were going to hurt them.”

The group threatened one customer, “but he got away,” Romo said.

The group possibly entered a red Mercedes-Benz with severe damage to the front and fled, Meza said.

Anyone with information about the robbery is encouraged to call the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station at 562-623-3500. Anonymous tips can be given to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.

After organized retail thefts elsewhere, Long Beach police place cameras in business areas

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