HAYWARD (CBS SF) – Looters targeting Bay Area businesses struck again Sunday night, with smash-and-grab thieves hitting the Southland Mall in Hayward and suspects taking merchandise from a Lululemon store in San Jose.
Hayward Police told KPIX they responded to several calls from stores in Southland Mall at around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Witnesses said a large crowd of people caused huge unrest inside the mall, with some briefly taking control of a jewelry store.
Witnesses described that around 40 to 50 looters wielding hammers and other tools looted Sam’s jewelers, smashing shop windows and quickly fled. The Macy’s store was also ransacked.
In the video taken during the flight, you can hear the employees of Sam’s Jewelers screaming in fear.
A large crowd broke into Sam’s jewelers inside the Southland Mall in Hayward. PD said it received calls at 5:25 p.m. today. Witnesses told me that the first wave of thieves involved around 30 to 40 children. A 2nd wave with fewer thieves came back to clean it up. Story tonight 11 on Ch 5@KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/1kXj5N4UT2
– Da Lin (@DaKPIX) 22 November 2021
“It was a whole bunch of broken glass,” said one person at the mall during the incident.
Witnesses say it was the end of a much more spooky and bigger scene.
“I would say at least 30 to 40 [people] from what I saw, ”said another witness, who refused to identify himself. “But after the main group of kids rushed in, we saw 15-20 scatter, some even came back.”
KPIX spoke with two women who work near Sam’s Jewelers. They and other mall workers said some children rushed to other stores and left with shoes and clothes.
“We saw all the other stores close. They were panicking, so we were panicking and quickly closed our store and barricaded ourselves, ”one of the women said.
Hayward Police said several 911 calls arrived around 5:25 p.m., just before closing time. Most stores in the mall close at 6 p.m.
Workers inside Sam’s Jewelers cleaning. A large crowd broke the crates and flew away with a large amount of jewelry. Inside the Southland Mall, Hayward today. If you haven’t already, check out my other tweet with a video of the actual flight.@KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/RU4ei9aVsM
– Da Lin (@DaKPIX) 22 November 2021
“I’m a little shaken up. But I’m happy to come home, ”a mall employee told KPIX.
“It was very scary,” said another. “People without morals, without any sense for the safety of others. I feel helpless. It’s annoying.
Police could not immediately say how many jewelry was removed from the store or the volume of merchandise lost by other stores in the mall.
It was not clear if Hayward’s robbery was related to the heist targeting a Louis Vuitton store among other businesses in Union Square in San Francisco on Friday or the Nordstrom heist in Walnut Creek on Saturday. Thieves too hit several marijuana dispensaries in Oakland overnight.
No arrests were reported by police.
Meanwhile in San Jose on Sunday night, police said that at around 6:30 p.m., a group of suspects entered the Lululemon store in Santana Row and took goods. They fled before the police arrived. No other information was immediately available,
It was the third day in a row that a large crowd of thieves had attacked Bay Area retailers.
The brazen thefts came hours after Walnut Creek Police issued a warning on social media that there could be a repeat of the heckling that erupted in their community on Saturday night.
“The Walnut Creek Police Department is actively monitoring intelligence that indicates the group of thieves who robbed Broadway Plaza Nordstrom last night are considering similar activity later today,” police posted on Twitter and shared by the Hayward police.
“This has not been confirmed, but as a precaution we are alerting businesses and residents to be ready… some stores may consider closing earlier or taking other precautions. There is no specific time or known goal at this time. “
Saturday evening, dozens of looters stormed the Nordstrom store in downtown Walnut Creek, terrorizing shoppers, assaulting employees, snatching bags full of merchandise and ransacking shelves before fleeing in several vehicles waiting for them on the street.
Lt. Ryan Hibbs of Walnut Creek told KPIX that three people were in custody and more were wanted.
“Walnut Creek Police investigators are reviewing surveillance footage in an attempt to identify other suspects responsible for this brazen act,” authorities said in a press release Sunday morning.
Police began receiving calls from Nordstrom employees about the looting at around 9 p.m. He said about 80 people rushed into the store and started looting and smashing shelves.
Two employees were injured when assaulted and another was pepper sprayed by the suspects.
Da Lin contributed to this story.