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CHP to patrol Stanford Shopping Center, other malls amid smash-and-grab crime wave

Thieves steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise from high-end Bay Area retailers

Holiday shoppers will notice California Highway Patrol officers at local malls this season in response to a recent rise in organized retail thefts. Embarcadero Media file photo.

Local malls, including Stanford Shopping Center, will have a greater force of armed protection this holiday season. Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered the California Highway Patrol on Nov. 22 to increase their presence around malls throughout the state.

Newsom's order comes on the heels of multiple smash-and-grab burglaries. Organized groups have gone into high-end retail stores at malls and absconded with hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive merchandise, including jewelry, handbags and clothing.

While some crime of this sort has been a mainstay in police logs for the past few years, the scope and frequency of these incidents appear to be on the rise. They are also getting larger, with as many as 80 people storming a Nordstrom's store in Walnut Creek on Nov. 20 and multiple incidents in San Francisco and Los Angeles that involved dozens of people, according to those cities' police departments. On Nov. 21, Palo Alto police thwarted 30 to 40 people who attempted to break into The RealReal luxury consignment store downtown.

The uptick in burglaries led the district attorneys from seven Bay Area counties to form a new alliance against organized retail theft, which was announced on Tuesday.

The increase in the brazen thefts comes as retailers have stocked up for the holiday shopping season. A recent survey by Simon Property Group, which operates Stanford Shopping Center and other malls nationwide, found that 80% of survey respondents considered buying gifts in retail stores as the best way to shop this year instead of making an online purchase. The survey also found that 81% of respondents were worried their holiday gifts wouldn't arrive on time or wouldn't be available at all this year and the best way to guarantee getting the gifts would be through brick-and-mortar stores, the company said in a Nov. 9 press release.

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The CHP will patrol the Stanford and Town and Country Village shopping centers in Palo Alto at least through the holidays, CHP spokesperson Officer Art Montiel said.

"The officers will be making the rounds through the malls to show their presence in the areas," he said, noting that they would be covering Stanford, Town and Country and Hillsdale shopping centers along with others within each CHP jurisdiction.

"We'll just basically show our presence to hopefully deter these robberies," he said.

From large retailers to small mom-and-pop shops downtown, the thieves don't seem to discriminate. On Nov. 18, thieves demolished the door at Palo Alto jeweler De Novo Fine Contemporary Jewelry, grabbing at least $50,000 worth of gold and silver after smashing three glass cases, according to Palo Alto police.

Since May, thieves have also made big thefts at Stanford Shopping Center, notably a $150,000 theft from Neiman Marcus and more than $100,000 in a handbag heist from Louis Vuitton in June.

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Stanford Shopping Center Security referred questions to the mall's management, which didn't return requests for comment on any plans to beef up security on Wednesday. Town and Country has a security detail and hasn't been afflicted by the smash-and-grab crimes, according to the center's management office.

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CHP to patrol Stanford Shopping Center, other malls amid smash-and-grab crime wave

Thieves steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise from high-end Bay Area retailers

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Nov 24, 2021, 4:10 pm
Updated: Fri, Nov 26, 2021, 8:57 am

Local malls, including Stanford Shopping Center, will have a greater force of armed protection this holiday season. Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered the California Highway Patrol on Nov. 22 to increase their presence around malls throughout the state.

Newsom's order comes on the heels of multiple smash-and-grab burglaries. Organized groups have gone into high-end retail stores at malls and absconded with hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive merchandise, including jewelry, handbags and clothing.

While some crime of this sort has been a mainstay in police logs for the past few years, the scope and frequency of these incidents appear to be on the rise. They are also getting larger, with as many as 80 people storming a Nordstrom's store in Walnut Creek on Nov. 20 and multiple incidents in San Francisco and Los Angeles that involved dozens of people, according to those cities' police departments. On Nov. 21, Palo Alto police thwarted 30 to 40 people who attempted to break into The RealReal luxury consignment store downtown.

The uptick in burglaries led the district attorneys from seven Bay Area counties to form a new alliance against organized retail theft, which was announced on Tuesday.

The increase in the brazen thefts comes as retailers have stocked up for the holiday shopping season. A recent survey by Simon Property Group, which operates Stanford Shopping Center and other malls nationwide, found that 80% of survey respondents considered buying gifts in retail stores as the best way to shop this year instead of making an online purchase. The survey also found that 81% of respondents were worried their holiday gifts wouldn't arrive on time or wouldn't be available at all this year and the best way to guarantee getting the gifts would be through brick-and-mortar stores, the company said in a Nov. 9 press release.

The CHP will patrol the Stanford and Town and Country Village shopping centers in Palo Alto at least through the holidays, CHP spokesperson Officer Art Montiel said.

"The officers will be making the rounds through the malls to show their presence in the areas," he said, noting that they would be covering Stanford, Town and Country and Hillsdale shopping centers along with others within each CHP jurisdiction.

"We'll just basically show our presence to hopefully deter these robberies," he said.

From large retailers to small mom-and-pop shops downtown, the thieves don't seem to discriminate. On Nov. 18, thieves demolished the door at Palo Alto jeweler De Novo Fine Contemporary Jewelry, grabbing at least $50,000 worth of gold and silver after smashing three glass cases, according to Palo Alto police.

Since May, thieves have also made big thefts at Stanford Shopping Center, notably a $150,000 theft from Neiman Marcus and more than $100,000 in a handbag heist from Louis Vuitton in June.

Stanford Shopping Center Security referred questions to the mall's management, which didn't return requests for comment on any plans to beef up security on Wednesday. Town and Country has a security detail and hasn't been afflicted by the smash-and-grab crimes, according to the center's management office.

Comments

James
Registered user
Midtown
on Nov 24, 2021 at 9:33 pm
James, Midtown
Registered user
on Nov 24, 2021 at 9:33 pm
Fritzie Blue
Registered user
Stanford
on Nov 27, 2021 at 12:40 am
Fritzie Blue, Stanford
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2021 at 12:40 am

Good to hear. I hope they will be carefully patrolling the parking lots, as even pre-Covid there were many car break-ins. What a frightening area this is becoming.


Hinrich
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Nov 27, 2021 at 8:21 am
Hinrich, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2021 at 8:21 am

Glad to see CHP at the mall. With decisions at all levels of government to relax laws, reduce punishment, release those who have been convicted, not punish theft and assault and looting, empty overcrowded jails, and with public officials like Boudin with activist agendas dismantling the justice system the trend in law and order is increasingly leading to lawlessness and disorder. It’s not safe out there anymore. Authority is broken. A cop on every street corner won’t make any difference if all we do is catch and release. Sanctuary cities make everyone feel great for a day - aren’t we good people - but it was just one more bold declaration that we are just not going to enforce civility - that the body of law itself now is only what some choose to enforce - a la carte . During Covid and extreme challenges to our society we can’t afford to let things break down. To the CHP and our own police, shopkeepers and shoppers facing the barbarians at the gate - stay safe out there.


Banes
Registered user
Greater Miranda
on Nov 27, 2021 at 9:08 am
Banes , Greater Miranda
Registered user
on Nov 27, 2021 at 9:08 am

Governor Newsom Could do something like start prosecuting these thieves, Versus using our police agents as medical recovery agents, Only servicing the criminals & doing nothing for the shop owners who eventually will have to close because the insurance companies will fail to pay for their losses, just like all the Walgreens up in San Francisco, gone!

Thanks Gov.

So the CHP isn’t going to be able to stop the side-shows or gun bullets flying or do their job to assist motorists in accidents
Because we need to Have them at malls where they fail to prosecute any of these thieves ? Really what’s the point??
People in car accidents don’t necessarily plan to be in car accidents, thieves are thieves with intentions and even if they stole thousands of dollars they would never be prosecuted by our governor, by our state ,by our lawmakers. It’s not a crime to be a thief anymore.


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