Groups of thieves target two high-end stores in California

Groups of thieves stole goods from two high-end stores in California on Wednesday, according to officials, the latest in a series of similar crimes in a few US cities.

In Los Angeles, at least five people went inside the Nordstrom store in Canoga Park and stole items that included seven or eight expensive purses, CNN affiliate KABC reported.

During the robbery, the suspects assaulted and pepper-sprayed a security guard, Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said. At least one of the suspects was wearing an orange wig, KABC reported. CNN has reached out to the LAPD for more information.

Also Wednesday, police said at least four people stole $20,000 worth of merchandise from an Apple store in Santa Rosa, which is located about 55 miles north of San Francisco.

“In a brazen daytime burglary in front of customers and staff, the suspects grabbed over $20,000 worth of merchandise from the store and fled the area in an unknown vehicle,” Santa Rosa police said in a statement.

The suspects were between the ages of 14 and 18 and wore masks, police said.

The thefts come amid a recent wave of “smash-and-grab” crimes.

On Monday, at least 18 people broke into the Nordstrom department store at the Grove in Los Angeles and stole thousands of dollars in merchandise, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. Three people were arrested, he said.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, a group of thieves swarmed the Southland Mall in Hayward on Sunday evening, wielding hammers to smash cases at a jewelry store before grabbing items and fleeing. And east of San Francisco, three suspects were arrested Saturday night after a mob ransacked a Nordstrom department store in Walnut Creek.

In suburban Chicago, 14 people barged into a Louis Vuitton store last week and fled with more than $100,000 in handbags and other merchandise.

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