Los Angeles

Parade of Burglars Targets Rodeo Drive Boutiques for Smash and Grab

A parade of four cars through Beverly Hills turned onto Rodeo Drive in the early Tuesday morning darkness, pulling to a stop nose-to-tail along the curb, occupants leaping out--one with what appeared to be a sledge hammer--to commit a smash and grab burglary of an upscale shop, recorded on security camera video.

As it turned out, the extra-strong security glass of the Saint Laurent display window was punctured and cracked, but failed to shatter. So the break-in crew simply shifted their focus next door to the glass entryway of Zadig & Voltaire, smashing their way in, and carrying off thousands of dollars worth of garments, then disappearing in less than two minutes.

"Brazen," said Beverly Hills Police Lt. Elisabeth Albanese in describing the most recent in a series of smash and grabs targeting the luxury boutiques of the city's world famous retail district.

Only last week, a burglary crew smashed a glass wall at the nearby Saks Fifth Avenue department store on Wilshire Blvd.  Two months ago, a burglar driving an older BMW shattered the front window of a shop on Brighton Way. Two weeks before that, another burglar crew broke into another shop in the same 400 north block of Rodeo Drive targeted Tuesday. Three suspects in that case were arrested at the end of a pursuit, according to police statements.

As it happened the week of May 28, police said one of the suspect cars was spotted in Westwood, failed to pull over, and officers gave chase.

Along the way, officers recovered stolen items that were being tossed out of the Hyundai during the pursuit, according to Albanese.

The Hyundai eventually stopped along another Rodeo--Rodeo Road in Los Angeles--near Cloverdale Avenue, with occupants jumping out and running. Police estimate there were 4-6 who got away, as did whoever were in the other three vehicles.

Two of them are believed to be gray or silver BMW's--a coupe and and X5 SUV. The other suspect vehicle was described as a black Honda Civic sedan.

Police requested anyone with information on the crime, the suspects, or the vehicles contact investigators at 310-285-2158.

Awaiting a delivery of new security glass, the Saint Laurent shop was planning to keep security overnight.

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