A Long Beach-area store was the latest location to be struck by a flash mob robbery, in which a group of thieves enter a business, grab whatever valuable items they can carry and simply walk out with them.
A Reddit user posted a video apparently taken Sunday at the Home Depot on Spring Street in Signal Hill. It shows about a half dozen people, mostly wearing black or gray hoodies and some with dark face masks, loading boxes that appear to be red Milwaukee brand power tools into carts or their arms and leaving the store; two employees in orange aprons can be seen standing nearby, seemingly not sure how to respond.
Signal Hill Police Department Lt. Kelli Crigler confirmed via email on Monday that officers were dispatched to the store around 6:03 p.m. Sunday and took a report of a robbery that involved “approximately seven unknown males, who stole approximately $5,000 worth of power tools.”
Recent news reports have described a number of similar robberies in Southern California, including the theft of shoes from an East Los Angeles Nike store earlier this month and a group of people filling bags with items in a Macy’s store in Sherman Oaks last week.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has launched a multi-agency retail theft task force to address the crimes, and at least 11 arrests have been made so far.
Long Beach and Signal Hill are not part of Bass’s task force, but Long Beach police created their own task force this spring to combat a string of commercial burglaries they said were largely carried out by organized theft rings. Two arrests in connection with the Long Beach crimes were announced earlier this month.
Crigler said Signal Hill police are urging anyone with information on the Home Depot robbery to contact Detective Jerry Maldonado at [email protected] or 562-989-7215.
An employee at the Signal Hill store referred a reporter to Home Depot headquarters in Atlanta; as of Monday afternoon, the company had not responded to an inquiry about the robbery.