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Smash-and-grab thefts at L.A. Nordstrom trigger police chase

Three suspects were taken into custody, Los Angeles police said.

A group of alleged thieves broke into a Nordstrom store at a popular Los Angeles shopping center in an apparent smash-and-grab spree and fled the scene, triggering a police car chase, officials said.

A call came in at 10:40 p.m. PT about suspects breaking into a store at The Grove shopping center, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Lopez said Monday evening. Initially, it was unknown if anything was stolen. 

Suspects smashed a store window using a sledgehammer and merchandise was found littered outside, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Los Angeles police said an unknown number of suspects fled in an SUV and a pursuit was initiated by Wilshire officers in the area.

The chase ended at 98th Street and Hoover Street in South Los Angeles. The driver stopped in a residential area and took off running, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Three suspects were taken into custody, police said Tuesday morning.

Initially, it appeared that no other stores were damaged or affected in the incident. No injuries were reported in the incident, according to the news station.

It's unclear how many suspects were involved and how much merchandise was stolen.

Noting recent headlines, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was ordering the California Highway Patrol to increase its presence at major shopping destinations. He also proposed increased spending on measures to combat shoplifting.

"The level of organized retail theft we are seeing is simply unacceptable," Newsom said in a statement Monday night. "Businesses and customers should feel safe while doing their holiday shopping." 

On Saturday night about 80 suspects descended on a Nordstrom in Walnut Creek, California, local police said.

An employee was pepper-sprayed, and two others were punched and kicked, a police spokesperson said. Suspects were in and out of the store within a minute, police said. Officials didn’t specify the estimated value of the items that were stolen. Walnut Creek police said three people were arrested in connection with Saturday night’s incident.

Similarly, 14 suspects were caught on surveillance footage storming into a Louis Vuitton store at the Oakbrook Center mall in Oak Brook, Illinois, on Wednesday and escaped in three getaway vehicles, Oak Brook police said.