Robbers hit another high-end store inside a San Francisco Bay Area shopping mall, but this time, a security guard intervened and was pepper-sprayed and nearly run over by the getaway car for his heroic deed.
The robbery happened at the Victoria Secret store at the Serramonte Shopping Center in Daly City over the weekend.
“On Saturday, June 12 at 12:09 p.m., several officers were dispatched to Serramonte Shopping Center on a report of a Victoria’s Secret Loss Prevention Officer who was following two female shoplifting suspects who tried to him with their vehicle as they fled,” police stated in a bulletin. “The 39-year old Loss Prevention Officer (victim) said an employee called him to say two females were shoplifting. The victim left his office and stood near the cash registers as he watched the two females hurriedly throwing handfuls of store merchandise into paper shopping bags.”
The tactic is a common one used by repeat retail robbers who have targeted clothing stores, high-end luxury goods retailers, and other popular stores around the Bay Area.
“The victim asked the suspects to put down their bags, and the suspects ignored his request,” police continued. “One of the suspects told the victim that she was going to ‘mace’ him and they left the store with the merchandise.”
The suspect made good on the threat, police said.
“The victim followed the suspects out of the store, and one of the suspects sprayed him in the face and chest with pepper spray,” according to authorities. “The victim continued to follow the suspects, and he said one of the bags tore completely open, and the merchandise fell onto the street. The victim began picking up the merchandise while the females got into a vehicle. The victim pulled out his cellphone to capture a video of the vehicle, and the victim said the vehicle then sped towards him, swerving to hit him as he jumped out of the way. Almost $2,000 worth of merchandise was stolen, and $900 worth was recovered. This investigation is continuing.”
The Saturday robbery follows several high-profile heists at other Bay Area retailers where teams of robbers have stormed stores to loot them of their goods.
"Our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a witness reporting that a large group of suspects had just committed a shoplift from the Louis Vuitton store at Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real," the Palo Alto Police Department stated earlier this month. "Officers responded immediately but the suspects had already fled in vehicles. The investigation revealed that eleven unarmed suspects entered the open store and grabbed 36 handbags. They exited the store quickly, ran through the mall, and fled in five vehicles prior to police arrival. The total value of the stolen handbags was more than $100,000.”
A security guard working for another neighboring store was seen on witness video, but he did not intervene.
In San Francisco, a thief was seen on a viral video sweeping the contents of a Walgreens store shelf into a garbage bag and strolling out the front door nonchalantly.
In that incident, a security guard was also present, but he merely recorded the robbery with a cell phone and did not confront the thief or try to pursue him — likely because of company policies that forbid employees from confronting robbers.