10 arrested for robbing Nike store in East Los Angeles


Police have arrested 10 suspects for a series of flash mob robberies targeting a Nike store in East Los Angeles.

The arrests were made by detectives from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Burglary-Robbery Taskforce.

Investigators had worked to track down a group of suspects who continually targeted a Nike Community Store located on the 4500 block of Whittier Boulevard.

The most recent theft at the store was on Aug. 13 when Citizen video captured a group of thieves storming the shop and escaping with large bags full of sneakers and other merchandise.

During the investigation from Aug. 24-25, surveillance operations were conducted at the Nike store which eventually led to the arrests of 10 suspects.

Deputies linked the incidents to two criminal street gangs that focused on organized retail theft.

Around $3,000 of stolen merchandise was recovered during the operation, authorities said.

Two of the suspects also had outstanding arrest warrants, one of which involved shoplifting. Another suspect was also believed to be responsible for stealing a cargo truck.

On Aug. 17, six suspects were also arrested for a mob robbery of the same Nike store after deputies spotted them on the southbound 710 Freeway.

Photos from that arrest show the suspects’ SUV filled with merchandise including large bags containing boxes of Nike sneakers and other potentially stolen merchandise.

Earlier this week on Aug. 24, 11 suspects were arrested in connection with flash mob robberies across Southern California. On Aug. 26, four more suspects were also arrested for robberies targeting luxury retailers.

In most flash mob thefts, a large group of thieves will overwhelm store employees and security guards while grabbing as many items as possible before fleeing. Their hauls often exceed $100,000 since many of the targeted stores are high-end retailers.

The continuing thefts prompted the creation of an Organized Retail Crime Taskforce earlier this month to stop the rising number of group robberies targeting retailers.

The task force involves several law enforcement agencies and will not only focus on the suspects robbing retailers, but also on those who purchase the stolen goods online, officials said.


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