Four individuals, who police believe may be involved in the flash mob theft of at least $400 in merchandise from a Home Depot in the Lakewood Center Mall, were in custody Saturday after being arrested in Beverly Hills.
The police investigation is still ongoing, as police work to confirm whether the four individuals arrested were involved in Friday night's incident.
Police 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 stopped one of the vehicles and 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 valued at approximately $400, according to Deputy Miguel Meza of the Sheriff's Information Bureau.
Cell phone video showed a group of teenagers leaving the store.
"One customer actually stood up to them, and then they threatened him, and then he went back," said one store employee, Luis Romo, said of the incident. "That's why in the video you could see him, like, panicked. And then they just ran out the front to their cars, and they left in a red Mercedes, I saw."
Anyone with information about the robbery was 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.
It was another in a series of so-called "flash mob" or smash-and-grab robberies across Los Angeles County in the past week, several of them taking place on Black Friday.
A large group of thieves entered the Bottega Veneta store at 8445 Melrose Place -- near Croft Avenue and the border with West Hollywood -- and stole an unknown number of items before fleeing Friday.
The Los Angeles Police Department lifted a citywide tactical alert Saturday that had been in effect through the majority of the city.
On Wednesday, robbers attacked a security guard and stole designer handbags worth an estimated $25,000 from the Nordstrom store at the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park. Also Wednesday, "flash mob" suspects entered several stores in the 8500 block of Beverly Blvd at the Beverly Center and grabbed merchandise without paying and ran out, the LAPD said.
Those crimes occurred two days after a smash-and-grab robbery by a mob of at least 20 people at the Nordstrom store at the upscale Grove shopping center in the Fairfax district Monday evening. The suspects in that robbery fled the scene in at least four vehicles.
Three suspects were arrested in South Los Angeles following a chase. Officers recovered several items of clothing, at least one cash register and gloves from their vehicle.
Also Monday, at about 9:45 p.m., six suspects entered a CVS Pharmacy in the 5800 block of South Vermont Avenue in the South Los Angeles area and stole three cash registers, taking about $8,500 in cash, police said.
On Sunday, storefront windows of the Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Beverly Hills were smashed during attempted burglaries.