© 2021 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

80 people stormed a California Nordstrom store and stole merchandise

A Nordstrom sign is displayed outside of a mall in 2017 in Indianapolis. Police described an "organized theft" at a Nordstrom near San Francisco.
A Nordstrom sign is displayed outside of a mall in 2017 in Indianapolis. Police described an "organized theft" at a Nordstrom near San Francisco.

Updated November 22, 2021 at 1:27 PM ET

About 80 people rushed into a Nordstrom store near San Francisco on Saturday and stole merchandise in what authorities called an "organized theft."

Police in Walnut Creek said Sunday that they arrested three people in connection with the incident at the luxury department store, including one person allegedly in possession of a gun.

"The remaining participants in this criminal mob fled from the area in cars at high speeds," officials added.

Video of the scene posted to Twitter by NBC Bay Area news reporter Jodi Hernandez showed cars blocking the street outside the store as people fled and the police making arrests at gunpoint.

Grace Stearns, Nordstrom's senior manager of corporate communications, told NPR on Monday that five employees were treated for minor injuries and released but no one sustained any serious injuries.

"The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority, and we're doing everything we can to support them through this situation," Stearns said in a statement.

The mass theft was the latest in a spate of large-scale robberies to hit the Bay Area, from pharmacies to jewelry stores to cannabis dispensaries, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Walnut Creek police said they started receiving calls on Saturday night about people driving recklessly in the area of the Broadway Plaza
Nordstrom shortly before 9:00 p.m. Employees began calling 911 when the group entered the store and began stealing products.

The suspects assaulted two Nordstrom workers and pepper sprayed another, police said.

"There was a mob of people," Brett Barrette, a manager at a nearby P.F. Chang's restaurant, told KPIX. "The police were flying in. It was like a scene out of a movie. It was insane."

Investigators are now reviewing surveillance video to identify additional suspects.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.