Walnut Creek, CA

Will Broadway Plaza Bounce Back From Massive Alleged Theft In Time For the Holidays?

Thomas Smith

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Original photo by the author

A massive and well-publicized retail theft at Nordstrom in Walnut Creek last week left many in the town shaken. As many as 80 robbers wearing dark clothing carrying pepper spray reportedly broke into the store, threatening and in some cases allegedly assaulting employees and making off with handbags and other valuables.

At least 3 of the alleged robbers were arrested, and residents on social media platforms like Next Door reported seeing police and vehicles belonging to the alleged robbers driving through the streets of Walnut Creek, some traveling in the wrong direction as the suspects fled.

People reported feeling threatened by the blatant robbery in downtown Walnut Creek, and feeling unsafe on the community's streets. Especially because the robbery took place at a popular mall, it raises concerns about what the fear and the community might mean for the busy holiday shopping season, which kicks off in earnest this Friday for Black Friday.

The good news for Walnut Creek is that at the moment, the concerns about safety do not appear to be impacting shoppers' enthusiasm for coming out to Broadway plaza, where the Nordstrom store is located.

I visited the store yesterday, and there was no evidence whatsoever of last week’s robbery. The store had clearly stepped up security, with a guard standing at each door. Broadway Plaza has also reportedly restricted vehicle traffic to some parts of the mall. But there was no damage, signage, or any other indication that anything out of the ordinary had happened there.

The most telling indicator, though, was that the store was full of shoppers. Many had likely not heard about the robbery, and even if some had, no one appeared to have let the attack get in the way of their holiday shopping.

The employees at the store seemed relatively unfazed and were still there to help clients. The surrounding Broadway Plaza was also busy, and the parking garage was nearly full. Perhaps it was an act of defiance on the part of the community and the store's employees to proceed and not let the robbery prevent the full realization of the holiday season.

Retail thefts like the one that happened at Nordstrom are certainly concerning, especially because the theft appears to be part of a broader pattern, with a similar robbery taking place in Union Square last week as well.

If the robbery is impacting shoppers’ confidence, and thus the Walnut Creek economy, that doesn’t seem to have shown up in people shopping patterns so far. Of course, I don’t have access to the store sales data for Nordstrom or other businesses, so I don’t know to what extent sales have been impacted or may have shifted online. But based on my visit, Nordstrom and Broadway plaza felt safe, bustling, and ready for the holidays.

nordstromtheftbroadway plazaholidaysshopping

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Award-winning entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of Gado Images. Thomas writes, speaks and consults about artificial intelligence, privacy, food, photography, tech, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional photographer, Thomas' photographic work regularly appears in publications worldwide. Pitches/news tips: tom@gadoimages.com

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