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Flash mob robbers hit Lakewood Home Depot; 4 possible suspects in custody

Four people police believe might have been involved in a flash mob robbery at Home Depot in the Lakewood Center Mall Friday night were in custody Saturday morning.

Officers from the Beverly Hills Police Department 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 made a traffic stop and took them 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.

A group entered the store in the 5000 block of Hardwick Street at 7:46 p.m. Friday, walked directly to the tool aisle, said Deputy Miguel Meza of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

Store employees told Fox11 a group of up to 20 males from 15 to 20 years old pulled up in up to 10 cars, put on ski masks and began stealing tools.

The group cleared out the entire hammer section and also took crowbars, wrenches, and sledgehammers.

“We tried to stop them,” store employee Luis Romo told Fox11. “We closed the front entrance and they put their sledgehammers up and whoever got in the way, they were going to hurt them.”

The group threatened one customer, “but he got away,” Romo said.

“We are concerned these could be used in future incidents,” said Deputy Miguel Meza, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The exact number of items stolen was not immediately known, but was “substantial”, totaling about $950 based on early estimates, Meza said.

The group possibly entered a red Mercedes-Benz with severe damage to the front and fled, Meza said.

Anyone with information about the robbery is 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.


Source: Orange County Register

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