Police are investigating a string of thefts that occurred at two Nike stores in Long Beach earlier this month that resulted in roughly $17,000 in merchandise being stolen.
The first two thefts were reported on Oct. 9 and 10 at the Nike Outlet Store at the Pike, according to a search warrant filed in Long Beach Superior Court.
Officers arrived around 5:33 p.m. to 71 Aquarium Way where the store manager said two women wearing Adidas sweaters and one man wearing a black hat and hoodie had walked into the store a few minutes earlier and began grabbing items off the shelves.
All three suspects appeared to grab as much apparel as they could hold and exited the store without making any attempt to pay for them, according to the warrant.
Because a store policy prevents employees from intervening during a theft, according to the warrant, the store manager could only stand by and watch as the suspects fled with an estimated $3,836 in stolen merchandise.
The following day at around 1:15 p.m., three people, believed to be the same suspects, entered the Nike Store Outlet and within minutes, made off with more merchandise, this time valued at an estimated $3,312.
After following the suspects out the door, the store manager witnessed them toss the stolen items into same white Chevrolet Silverado that was used in the theft the day before. The manager took down the license plate number and alerted authorities, who placed a felony warrant on the vehicle for its involvement in the thefts.
The suspect vehicle for the first two thefts was last seen fleeing westbound on Shoreline Drive toward the 710 Freeway on Oct. 10, but officers were able to track it down two days later outside a liquor store in Compton with four people inside.
The vehicle was seized and placed on evidence hold while the four people were interviewed and photographed before being released from the scene, according to the search warrant.
On Oct. 18, six unknown suspects entered the Nike store on Second Street and Pacific Coast Highway at around 8:23 p.m. and stole multiple items of merchandise worth an estimate of $10,000, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
The first two thefts appeared to be committed by the same suspects, according to the search warrant, while police say the third theft was unrelated.
No arrests have been made in either case, according to police who are investigating.