By - RoutineProcedure
> The thieves made off with hammers, sledgehammers, crowbars and other tools. After grabbing the items, they ran out of the store and got into a getaway car parked outside, Meza said.
The theft comes as similar tools have been used in a number of smash-and-grab robberies at high-end stores in several major US cities this month.
This is essentially the tutorial level for the robbery
Mission one of GTA: IRL
If I was a dealer, I’d get all my fiends to do this; it’s genius
I assume real drug dealers want exactly zero other crimes committed by people they know or sell to.
It does seem though that shoplifting is profitable? I mean, of course it is. But profitable enough for a bunch of people to decide to do it together? And risk going to jail. To steal a fucking hammer. Or even several hammers.
I feel like I'm just not getting it.
You would be surprised, I worked at a Home Depot in California and we got a call about tens of thousands in merchandise at a drug house found. They were stealing stuff and selling it pennies on the dollar because they were no longer allowed to exchange for store credit which they can sell at brick and mortar stores for a few more pennies on the dollar. I’m pretty sure they had a dozen $1000 Honda generators there waiting to exchange for store credit.
Search Amazon for products that are sold only at Home Depot and you’ll find a bunch of stores that appear to be based on reselling stolen items.
Ah, the good old Fence. New Haven had an infamous one.
They are burner tools used in other robberies and ditched probably dumped with the getaway vehicle or on scene itself.They are doing it because on the scale they are doing it police will probably end looking to trace suspicious purchases of bulk tools through cc receipts/cctv. even where they are buying tools might alert authorities to their movements, so hit a store stock up before a spree
It's the retail version of Storm Area 51. Can't catch 'em all.
Especially if theyve practiced their synchronized Naruto run.
I remember the pictures of an Army presenter with a powerpoint explaining Naruto running to soldiers.
I bb think the tools are a means to an end.
That's why you pay random tweakers to do the stealing. Degrees of seperation.
As a kid all the local dealers bought electronics, power tools, jewellery and basically anything else with a value. I assume there was someone else they all sold to.
> And risk going to jail.
Not in CA (where this happened); only if you steal more than $950 worth of stuff.
It might be complicated by the fact that it's organized groups doing this (so more like robbery than shoplifting) but a big part of why this has gotten so common is because shoplifting has basically been decriminalized here.
Technically it's still a misdemeanor and could be prosecuted. It's just that the local prosecutors don't tend to actually prosecute the crime.
Rico and conspiracy would certainly affect the ability to charge a felony for these kinds of acts. Not saying it applies, or would be easy to convict so they may not want to try. But they could make felony charges out of this if they wanted.
The local prosecutors aren't even prosecuting the offenses to the highest level as misdemeanors. For the most part they are dropping the charges entirely. So, it's not the legal structure that's the primary issue. It's a case of prosecutors who don't want to jail shop lifters.
"Two SF Prosecutors Quit, Join Effort to Recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin
In their first television interviews, two top prosecutors tell the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit they believe District Attorney Chesa Boudin should be fired for regularly lessening and even dropping criminal charges filed against violent offenders. "
Pretty sure they get a felony for robbery considering it’s gang related
Jeff Bezos is clearly The Joker.
You can steal it. We can help.
This is how adults used to be in the 1970s. As an old timer I remember getting put in my place when I was doing stupid shit. You don't see much of that anymore.
You also didn’t hear about all the people that tried that and got shot or beat up. The internet has given us greater access to knowledge of human experiences, so naturally things changed.
Just this week in Hollywood some poor 23 year old man was shot and killed for sticking up for a woman who was getting harassed in the early hours of the morning :(
Same thing happened to a guy near my apartment in Chicago a couple months ago.
Well if you don't want to see the place where you live go to hell in a hand basket, sometimes it's best to say something.
Not always a great idea where you have loaded concealed firearms on people.
People get shot and die all the time for trying to talk down to someone in public they think is doing something wrong..etc.
Straight up. I would say something, personally - because I don't live in the US. If I did? No fucking way would I ever confront anybody because I would assume they are carrying, and someone who is enough of a POS to do this would probably be stupid enough to kill someone over nothing, too.
Of course you don't see much of that anymore. The system won't throw the book at criminals but it'll throw the book at you if you confront a criminal and they attack you and things go south.
Crime is at crazy lows compared to the 70’s
No more lead in the gasoline
In the past year I’ve stayed in Chicago, the Bay Area, and Albuquerque. Crime statistics may be low, but crime is not. If it’s not reported or filed, does it still count as crime?
The prisons are completely full. This “tough on crime” bullshit has been proven ineffective. We have more people imprisoned than anywhere on the planet! It’s clearly not working. And you think the solution is more people in prisons? Or is “throwing the book” the death sentence in your eyes?
The prisons are full of pot smokers and civil debt holders. Poor people go to prison because they can't pay the fines levied against them for existing. Those people are preferred for prison because they make good workerbees for the labor contracts. Thugs can have the streets, as far as the judicial system is concerned.
>The prisons are full of pot smokers and civil debt holders.
That is not true, jails might be different, but the largest category in prisons are violent crimes, followed by property crimes. Of drug offenses, most are trafficking and not possession.
Regardless of the jail population, work programs are rare in jail.
Plenty of "thugs" get prosecuted, but if the prisons revolving doors, and you don't get rid of the environments that create criminals, they're gonna keep appearing.
There’s significant overlap between these two populations and violent offenders make up over 50% of the prison population. It’s not a deterrent. You know what would be? Healthcare. Social programs. Jobs.
Who is going to jail for civil debt?
People who can't afford bail. People who can't afford parole fees. People whose only method of affording child support is jail.
I didn’t realize those were examples of civil debt. When I think of civil debt, I think CC balances
Wouldn't those be types of private debts? When I think civil debts I think of fees and taxes owed to the government.
Jail and prison are different.
> Poor people go to prison because they can't pay the fines levied against them for existing.
So your characterization of these people was kind of stretched then?
I'm genuinely curious in the U.S. if you can go to prison for unpaid loans or some monetary debts. I would have thought bankruptcy was the ultimate end for someone financially like that.
AFAIK, you cannot go to prison in the US for that kind of debt - not since the mid-1800's.
You CAN go to prison for debt incurred as a result of criminal judgements (e.g. not paying a fine after being arrested for a crime, not paying court fees, etc).
Loans and credit can lead to garnishment and eviction to recoup debt, but unless you commit an actual crime you won't be imprisoned. However, if you do break the law there are subsequent fees and fines which can compound your detention if you can't pay them in the allotted timeframe. In can get exponentially worse very quickly.
Need tools to remove a catalytic converter.
“Alright first we’re gonna need tools to smash glass with”
Press F to not pay your cashier
Stealing tools that'll be used to commit the next crime.
“More saving, more doing. That’s the power….”
Of the Home Invasion™
Alexa play the theme
Robbery is so sad :'( Alexa play Despacito.
The left lane is for crime
This is just the *investment* stage of their enterprise.
They're speedrunning survival mode
We're assuming they won't regret what they've done and start using these tools to build homes for the less fortunate ...
But your answer is likely the right one
"Thieves come back to Home Depot to steal wall studs and 4 x 8 sheets of plywood."
The beginning of the Wet Bandits.
I prefer the Sticky Bandits
They're just gonna fix their grandma's porch.
What is this grassroots organized crime?
Flash robs. It’s all the rage.
In my day the kids were doing this type of [flash](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzALZjoIx0g)
In my day the kids were doing this type of [flash](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQE66WA2s-A)
In my day the kids were doing this type of [flash](https://youtu.be/7EYAUazLI9k)
What a feeling!
Has James Corden gone too far?
Check out the related articles. Same shit is happening in other states, happened at a best buy in Minneapolis yesterday too.
I don't know if this is suddenly more common or what, but I know it's not new. My mom has worked retail for decades. And I remember this happening to her back in the late 90s. Bunch of people came in and literally just walked out in a line with giant furniture items. They are not allowed to physically stop anyone so they just stood there like wtf
Yeah, your odds of getting away are actually pretty good considering it usually takes five minutes in most places for police to arrive for a non-emergency call.
I monitor the scanner in my town and most shoplifters are arrested because they've (1) either been trespassed before so loss prevention is already calling the cops, (2) the shoplifter hangs around acting sketchy for a long time, or (3) they comply with the staff and are led to the back office. I'm amazed how many do #3, I guess most of them are not very bright and are convinced they can talk their way out of the problem.
The reason that some do #3 is shock. They're amped up and nervous when they're exiting. They get so focused during their exit that when you pop out and stop them, they're just sort of shocked for a couple of minutes.
They get a "deer in headlights" kind of look, and the sudden shift and jolt of adrenaline just stuns them a bit. Even if they argue a bit or try to talk themselves out of it, you can get them inside just by firmly commanding them to.
Once they get inside the holding cell or office, then they snap out of it a bit and that's when they get mouthy or complain or try to explain their way out of it. But for those 1-2min right when they're stopped at the door, you can pretty much talk them in before they fully realize what happened.
Source: I worked in loss prevention for years.
\#3 is exactly what happened to me when I got caught shoplifting when I was 18.
I had been stealing small watercolor paints (which I could afford, but oddly I didn't need) from the campus store for about 3 months. Then one time I walked out and an undercover loss prevention guy about half my height and weight just walked up to me and said "come with me".
Instead of running or getting defensive I just said 'OK' and followed him into the office. I just complied. It was the weirdest phenomenon. I was ultimately let go but was banned for life from the campus store. On the positive side that whole experience effectively scared me into ending my shoplifting addiction.
Same exact thing happened to me at a campus store! I had a bit of a habit stealing unnecessary things as well - this particular day I had stuck a pen in my pocket. I walked out the door a couple feet and this undercover guy stopped me and he said, "Excuse me! You need to come with me right now." And I just did it.
However, mine was a bit different. Right when I got in there he ziptied my hands and brought me to the office. And he did call the cops. The cops seemed pretty annoyed that they were coming to speak to me over a stolen pen. But I was banned from the store and charged with petty shoplifting. Had to do 60 hours of community service.
Wasn't worth it, stopped doing that shit after that. Lol.
if that was a university security person, you would have been much more stupid to run. It's not like you acquiesced to the pressure of a Walmart employee who had no power, your university could easily find and expel you for theft.
I’ve done #3 before. I was twelve years old and stealing makeup from the drug store and I was scared shitless when I got caught lol. Never stolen since.
the scale of it is new.. a lot of them are sophisticated enough to sell the loot on Amazon storefronts
> sell the loot on Amazon storefronts
I think that's the real shift here. Back in the day (not speaking from experience, just common sense) it was difficult to fence stolen goods on a large scale and the options to do so were fairly limited, generally at a massively discounted return on the value (pawn shops, etc.).
Now you have not just Amazon, but eBay and a ton of other digital storefront options where you can essentially get full retail with no questions asked. Once again, as someone who grew up along with the information/tech age, I love technology but become increasingly dismayed with how it has only seemed to emphasize the negatives in our nature.
Facebook marketplace and craigslist too. It's just stupidly easy to get rid of stolen goods now where before you used to have to sell it to pawn shops or at flea markets.
Yeah, good point. The only reason I didn't mention things like those is that it seems people are typically selling there not at retail prices (although, granted I've never really used them much and never for anything "new") so that would kinda have a similar loss of value like pawn shops.
But the fact that you can set up as a third party seller on legit sites like Amazon, NewEgg, etc. and sell for MSRP means you maximize the potential.
absolutely.. this enhanced ability to self-organize around the worst motivations, AT SCALE, with advancing tech is getting dismaying
Just regular organized crime. This is why we need actual investigators not cops harassing the homeless and writing parking tickets.
Ah but see that's hard and requires effort.
It's been going on for decades. The media realized that these stories are getting eyeballs again, so they're going to keep writing them.
I was in a Big 5 Sporting Goods about 10-15 years ago and overheard the cashier: "Yeah, once in awhile someone picks up a bat and starts walking out. We don't stop them because we don't get paid that much, plus they're carrying a bat."
At Home Depot, you can get a board with a nail in it.
Or a bag filled with doorknobs.
Just make sure to put a sock on the bag, that way if someone tries to grab it they only get the sock.
They will even cut it to whatever length is most convenient for you.
This isn't one person grabbing a bat, it's a dozen or more grabbing anything that isn't bolted down.
Those products may be insured against loss, but insurance companies won't continue to offer policies if stores keep getting targeted by flash robs - and if they do, those products will cost you more to buy.
The group coordination we’ve seen here in the Bay Area is new. You don’t usually have 40-60 people doing it as a group effort.
My local Lowes and Home Depot have been experiencing this for decades. It got so bad that they now chain up the copper wire rolls. That said, the current wage shortage has created an environment where the stores are so understaffed they don't even have enough people to notice the theft.
I like how you're calling it by its real name
Huh the thieves at Lowes where I used to work would just stuff smaller stuff into boxes with larger items. Easier and less noticable.
Last time I was at Lowes in a small town in the South, they were actually checking for this. I do think this might have worked 10 years ago though.
Yeah, the Lowes I worked at had security cameras covering only the entrance and the loading bay for freight. The rest of the store had nothing at the time. Shrink was a massive problem for them but corporate didn't think a better camera system was worth the investment. Staff was also very bluntly told if you see someone taking something to only report it to loss and prevention or management. They were to under no circumstances to try to intervene. It was not our job, was beyond our training, and was not worth being hurt over a pack of screws.
Because the cameras aren't there to catch shoplifters. They're there to track the employees.
Still didn't work. Had someone on night shift walk out with five 60 gallon air compressors. They asked me about it as I sat the out on the floor from the truck. I pointed out I drive a Prius and could barely fit myself in it let alone even one of those giant compressors.
> track the employees
Yep. Target is known for their security cameras. I did some work in the backrooms of target many moons ago, and the number of cameras in the back was astounding. They had every square inch covered.
And somebody has already stole 1 screw from the pack.
Idk, just walking out seems pretty easy
Do it well enough and you can do it multiple times without being noticed.
I used to work at a large box store that was chronically understaffed, and I would often have a hunch that some "customers" had just taken items off the shelf and walked them up to the front for a no-receipt exchange, but there was nothing I could do about it. We had no cameras, little staff, and a giant store. There was evidence of other theft, but I guess it's cheaper to just let stuff walk out occasionally than pay for employees or anti-theft measures.
Speaking of boxes, I'm imagining these idiots running out of the store with armfuls of tools after passing right by the toolboxes with handles that are in the same aisle
I'm imagining them running out with shopping carts full of tools. They've got wheels and it's a lot easier to just rake things into a shopping cart.
They aren't concerned with small things. They figured out that if you just walk into a store and walk out with it and have a getaway vehicle nobody will stop you. Loss prevention (if it even exists anymore at these big companies) are usually in a back office somewhere watching cameras. They don't know who is just going to walk out. If your being sketchy in an isle sticking things in your pockets you are much more likely to get caught. When I worked at a grocery store the people who got caught were so obvious about it. If you just filled a cart and ran out and dumped it quick in a car parked right out front the LP it'll take the cops 20 minutes to get there if they even care at all. For the stores it's cheaper just to let the merchandise go then it is if an employee gets hurt trying to stop the thieves.
Lowes has the higher class thieves
When I was young I worked in retail at a tool store and they would buy tool bags and stuff them.
These people are stealing $100k worth of goods at a time.
story of my parents
The first time I witnessed theft I was at GI Joe’s with a neighbor kid and looking over noticed him peeling a GI Joe figure from its packaging and stuffing it under his sock. I was shocked. First, stealing seemed wrong. Secondly, the packaging contained important stats and information about the character. The whole thing left me feeling gross and turned off to theft altogether.
>the packaging contained important stats and information about the character.
A man of culture, I see
Yeah I discovered Snake Eyes is an E-7 (Sergeant First Class or equivalent)
You gotta have that file card and the flag points for those mail order exclusives.
There were GI Joe stores? I would’ve had a field day as a kid!
Few months ago, I over heard a HD employee telling a coworker that just got in that a group of men walked in and picked up a Milwaukee tools end-cap and just walk right out with it.
Now, all those style end caps are all locked up and locked down.
Man, when I worked overnight stocking at HD and did inventory one year, I discovered that 10 DeWalt 10 inch cast iron table saws had just up and disappeared over the course of the year. It made it a bit trippy the next year when I switched to daytime cash and they pushed us so hard on double checking the larger boxes to be sure nothing was stashed in them. Like, bro, people are already wandering out the door with the whole box without paying, stuffing things inside is small game.
Stores need to go to the Service Merchandise floor plan. Only displays on the floor, put in your order and pay and then the merch is sent out on the conveyor to you.
I looooved Service Merchandise as a kid. It was such a treat as a child to see the item arrive on the conveyor belt omg
The only problem with that is they will consistently under staff the store and you will be waiting for hours to get your spatula.
Stores are already understaffed.
True, but if you know what you need, many places have self checkout which goes pretty fast.
That's why you need to go to Spatula city.
Like getting furniture at Ikea. At least, that wasn't experience.
This might actually be what retail ends up looking like one day. Considering how online ordering works it’s not a foreign concept to pay for something and then receive it after that transaction is complete. If I were running a high end retail operation right now, I’d be moving everything into the back and doing exactly this.
Good luck with that at something like Home Depot. The one I worked at was the highest volume store in 5 states and it would move literally millions of dollars worth of inventory on a busy weekend. You wouldn’t be able to keep up with the orders with just the displays in the floor.
Also if you have ever worked in retail then you should know that half of all inventory shrink is internal, I.e. - employee theft
lol thats interesting, didn't know that half of all shrinkage is internal
I read that these are organized sell as third party on Amazon crimes.
You mean the guy selling brand new Bosch and Milwaukee tools on Nextdoor might not be legit?
Nah, they're just likely pallets of returns.
I also read that on Reddit
Amazon crimes has killer Black Friday specials.
And same day robberies! No wonder local thieves can't compete.
I have a sinking feeling the get it yourself model of stores is going to go away soon and we'll be back to the old counter days where you go up and tell the person what you want and they send someone in back to bring it up front for you.
I think it'll come down to if the big chain stores feel that they lose more to theft then they make in impulse purchases because right now those are the only reason they want people still going through the stores and picking up their own stuff.
Now they can use those tools to ransack bigger places. Leveling up their base characters
Probably just steal car parts
I keep seeing 'organized' and 'flash mob' - specifically how are they doing this? And why can't law enforcement get ahead of it on the same channels?
How does LEO get ahead of them. Impossible to have response times quick enough to stop them.
Last night and Friday night LAPD and LASD had police stationed all throughout the shopping venues from The Grove, Rodeo Drive, and The Americana.
The problem is, even if LEO is on site during the flash mob robbery, you're talking about 50 people running in and running out. Their response time is nearly impossible to catch everyone.
I don't know how you can really deal with this.
Yeah...so what do you do...? I'm really puzzled at how you solve this type of crime.
When I lived in Guatemala, electronics stores had armed security. I think we will see something similar soon.
In California, where the current issues are, you cannot use deadly force to protect property, legally. If an armed guard or anyone, shoots a looter, they're going to jail.
Unless the looter displays a firearm and points it at him/someone, then deadly force can be justified.
Now what is an armed guard with a California limited magazine capacity of 10 rounds (unless freedom week magazine) going to do with 20+ looters...?
Even if he has a 30 round magazine, he can only point the gun one direction at a time.
Not to mention, you know, bystanders. It's not worth risking some regular shopper/store employee's life to protect cheaply manufactured goods.
Install a portcullis.
Likely related to gangs.
Definitely related to gangs. If for no other reason than they have a supply of people with nothing else to do except do stupid shit for money.
I grew up in a sketchy neighborhood. It wasn't "bad" sketchy, if you just steered clear of the shit you were OK, but the dumb kids would get swept up in the dumbshit. The older guys would get the minors to do the actual crimes and drug deliveries because if they got arrested, who gave a fuck? Didn't really hurt the older guys.
Probably gangs and organized crime, who message each other on social media, then sell to fences who sell on websites like Amazon and Craigslist.
Hey maybe they can all go get good jobs in construction now that they have the tools.
Had to re-arm for their next pillaging mission to Nordstroms.
What a bunch of tools..
I wonder what this is building up to.
Shoddy fence repairs and a few broken windows if I’m guessing
Ahh shit here we go again
Organized thefts have become a phenomenon in many places.
Love this comment for some reason, reminds me of a standardized test writing prompt.
Or the opening line in response to writing prompt.
Opening text of a sci-fi movie made in the 1980s.
My friend worked at the Gap in the 90s and a group of 3 women stole an entire table of shirts in 45 seconds.
It's always been happening.
So… I’m imagining that shopping experiences are gonna start changing if/when these losses start adding up for retailers.
Gonna look like airport security at entrances and exits.
what is allowed will continue
Better get Seth Rogan
Reupping supplies for more.
Rash of home break ins to follow...
How long before you have to scan you credit card before being allowed to enter a store? Will all retail become private clubs?
More realistically stores start rolling out face recognition systems more and more. Rob a Target and cops get called next time you step foot inside a Target.
Except we all know how flawed those systems are.
I think I'll stay home.
Apparently on a street a few miles from where I live there's been alot of break ins and they've been reported in groping the women who were sleeping in their house as well as stealing shit. I'm in socal and my area has always been a little sketch but I definitely see the increase in crime just in my area alone. Posts like these makes me think organized crime has been getting bigger and it doesn't help when most of them say California
Well that and we’re not keeping criminals in jail anymore due to early release programs and a DA who doesn’t want to prosecute people.
Time to bring back Antoine Dodson.
Antoine Dodson has always been the solution!
Lmao. You people are insane. Just because a company makes a profit doesn’t mean it’s ok to steal from them. You’re contributing to the breakdown of society. Congratulations. I hope companies start shutting locations down. These areas will become yet another shitty part of town with no community investment. I feel bad for small business owners. They can’t just pick up and leave. They just have to deal with theft and homeless shits on the door step.
I work in retail, and in many of these events we’ve seen, the thieves are targeting areas they don’t even live in. Those locations get shut down, which hurts the local area, meanwhile the thieves just go to other cities next time.
The same morons cheering this on are going to be crying about how corporations refuse to invest/provide jobs in underserved communities.
The term they use is "food desert" or a neighborhood that lacks a grocery store in a reasonable distance.
You should have felt bad for small business owners when these chain department stores started popping up everywhere. A lot of these chains put them out of business. It would actually boost small business if the big stores shut down because all of the profits would come back straight into the community, and if a small store gets robbed, I promise you they will be compensated by insurance. Fuck billion dollar corporations.
Insurance isn't some magical product that makes theft harmless: it often has deductibles and stipulations over what gets and doesn't get covered. Making claims is a huge pain in the ass and insurance companies always try to find reasons to deny. When claims are addressed you can expect rates to go up.
Headlines saying merely "in California" always drive me nuts. I know people can read the article to find out what city, but come on, California is huge.
Hypothetical question if someone stole something from a store that is considered to be a weapon such a gun, does that raise the crime to a felony regardless of the value of the item? Does it become an armed robbery or does that require someone be threatened?
Stealing a gun is a felony yes. Robbery is threatening someone.
they all belong here r/iamatotalpieceofshit
Well if this just didn’t remind me of Home Alone… crowbars up!
Home Depot theme intensifies.
Seriously though this wave of gang robberies is concerning. It’s the sort of motivation that could lead us down a dark path politically.
YOU WONT SEE STORIES LIKE THIS REPORTED ON THE *LAMESTREAM* MEDIA, oh wait.
Progressing as a society I see
Probably just trying to start a construction business.
Home Depot loses many millions of dollars worth or merchandise to theft. It's a HUGE issue and we aren't talking about hammers.
California is definitely having a lot of issues with petty theft currently. Considering they don't go after people if the stolen items cost below a certain amount
Prop 47 just reclassified felony theft offenses as misdemeanors under $950. It doesn’t allow shoplifting and petty theft to go unprosecuted.
Good luck getting police to even care about it though. People arrested for misdemeanor theft are out in less than 24 hours. A couple of months back Glendale police arrested the same guy in 2 days both times for stealing a car.
My neighbors broke in my car stole everything in my glove compartment and threw it in a bush. Police won’t do anything unless I have proof. I only have video of them going to the carport and not of my car. I reported it to management and they got mad I reported them . A week later they broke my passenger driver’s window.
Now they laugh about it and Mock me when I leave my front door. They call me by my first name proving that they stole papers out of my glove box but nothing I can do because I can’t prove it and the police won’t do anything unless have absolute proof
>Good luck getting police to even care about it though.
This is literally how the cops have always operated in every city in America. Ever have your bike stolen or your car broken into? They don't give a fuck and tell you to your face your shit is gone.
Also, I don't want people spending 10 years in jail because they stole some Zyrtec from a Walgreens.
If you think this is only happening in California you're not paying attention.
Here's one that just happened yesterday in Texas.