Glendale Police Chief Manny Cid announced during Tuesday’s City Council meeting that three additional arrests were made involving the flash mob robbery at Yves Saint Laurent at The Americana at Brand on Aug. 8, which resulted in losses of approximately $400,000 in stolen merchandise.
“I am happy to report that today we arrested three more individuals,” Cid said at the meeting, bringing the total arrests to four. “Those individuals were not only involved in our crime, but involved at the Beverly Center in a similar type of crime.” Cid added that the arrests were the result of a flock camera automated license plate reader hit.
The chief also acknowledged the Organized Retail Task Force, formed by the LAPD and partnering with other departments including Glendale, in response to the recent surge in large retail theft.
“This is a task force that is going to be aimed at simply stated, identifying, locating and arresting these folks, prosecuting them with the goal to dismantle this sort of thing from our region.”
Cid is pleased with the work of the task force thus far as well as The Americana’s security team and the GPD. He also reported to the Council that the department’s e-bike detail arrested three women “casing” the Nordstrom at The Americana recently and discovered $30,000 worth of stolen purses in their car from other locations.
GPD announced the first arrest in this case on Aug. 17 in a press release from the department’s public information officer, Sgt. Victor Jackson. In addition to arresting the 23-year-old Los Angeles man on four felony counts of organized retail theft, burglary, grand theft and conspiracy, they have a warrant out for a second suspect, a 21-year-old Los Angeles woman.
The first suspect’s medical conditions and psychological challenges required him to be transferred to the L.A. County Jail system, Cid said. However, because of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s no-bail policy, they were not able to hold the suspect in jail and ultimately transferred him to a hospital on a psychiatric hold, Cid explained. The suspect is now free pending a court date set for mid-September.
The City Council praised the progress made on the flash mob robbery as well as general content with Cid’s management of the police department.
“This is very encouraging because I think right after the flash mob incident… it seemed like it was going to be difficult to identify anyone,” Mayor Dan Brotman said. “So it’s great that technology is coming through and helping us identify these people and … hopefully it’ll send a message… ‘Don’t mess with Glendale.’”
“I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so proud to have a chief in our city,” Councilwoman Elen Asatryan said. “I see you out in the community and how involved you are, and it feels like everyone from different groups has embraced you and I think it has a lot to do with your human approach and your leadership style.”
Meanwhile at The Americana, if last Saturday afternoon’s triple wrap-around Sephora line was any indication of how business is going following the flash mob robbery, the shopping center is doing just fine. Additionally, The Americana was packed on Tuesday with parents and children enjoying “Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie with Kids Club,” which involved live entertainment on The Green.
As far as safety goes after the burglary incident, Cooper, who works at Golden Goose, a luxury sneaker brand, appreciates the increase in security he has noticed.
“You feel a different presence walking around. … It’s nice,” Cooper, who declined to give his last name, told the News-Press.
Jason, a Nordstrom employee who also declined to give his last name, has also noticed more security. He told the News-Press that in incidents of theft, staff have been told by management to walk away from the situation and alert security. “Basically, just let them go,” he said, adding that people’s safety is the store’s number one priority.
In addition to physical security, a Sephora employee who asked to only be referenced by her first name, Miranda, told the News-Press that her managers have emphasized providing “emotional support” to their employees since the robbery.
“At Caruso, we are committed to maintaining a safe and family-friendly environment at each of our properties. We work closely with local law enforcement and invest heavily in security measures across our entire portfolio to ensure the safety of our guests, tenants, residents and employees,” a Caruso representative said in a statement to the News-Press.
First published in the August 26 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.