News & Politics

Looters Empty Louis Vuitton Stores in San Francisco and Chicago

Francois Mori

In a shockingly brazen display, looters in San Francisco conducted a “smash and grab” at the Louis Vuitton store in Union Square on Saturday, carrying off tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise.

Just two days ago, a similar “smash and grab” robbery occurred at the Louis Vuitton store in the Chicago suburb of Oakbrook, Illinois.

In the Oak Brook robbery, police determined that 14 suspects ran into the store, grabbed armfuls of merchandise, and then ran out the door and got into three vehicles. The robbery occurred at 3:30 in the afternoon.

In San Francisco, police report that other retailers in Union Square suffered similar attacks.

KTVU:

“We are continuing to respond to other retail establishments where reports of vandalism has occurred,” said Rueca. “Additional officers are responding to the area and are mobilizing to address the fluid and evolving situation.”

A KTVU camera crew said Fendi and Yves Saint Laurent were among the affected retailers.

The incident at the high-end store located at Geary Boulevard and Stockton was first documented on Twitter at around 8:25 p.m. User @Yealenne posted video that shows the immediate aftermath of the theft with shattered windows on the store’s ground and San Francisco police officers who responded to the scene.

Some of the high-end retail shops that were hit, included Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed promised to crack down on the looting. Really. She did.

KPIX:

The Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco’s Union Square was just one of nearly a dozen retail stores hit in the brazen smash-and-grab robbery spree. The Burberry store, Bloomingdale’s, the Jins eyeglasses store, Maxferd Jewelry & Loan and Yves Saint Laurent store were all targeted, police said.

Mayor Breed held a press conference Saturday afternoon to address the incidents the day before.

“We’re going to making some changes to Union Square and how cars are able to access. There will be limited access in terms of when you come to this area,” Breed said.

Nothing says “crackdown” quite like making it a little harder to steal $100,000 worth of high-end merchandise by limiting vehicle access. That’ll stop ’em.

Related: Welcome to the West Coast: Man Swipes $100 Worth of Suds (Again), Store Does Nothing

The police chief also assured the people that there was going to be a change.

“We have to make it difficult for people do to what they did last night. Pull up right next to a business, shatter the windows, wipe out everything they can carry, get right in their cars parked at the curb and leave,” Scott said.

Several stores, including the Louis Vuitton store, were either burglarized and/or vandalized on Friday night. Police have arrested eight people so far, and the chief said on Saturday he expects there will be more arrests to come.

Perhaps the high-end nature of the stores hit had something to do with the attitude of many Twitter users.

Yeah, they can afford it. And they’ve got insurance, so why not take what doesn’t belong to you? The store won’t be out any money, no one was hurt. Why not take it all? Those rich people owe us little people.

That’s exactly the kind of attitude that elected London Breed mayor. Why should it surprise us that this is happening?

California asked for it when they made shoplifting more attractive by raising the amount that would trigger felony charges to $950. Ever since then, pharmacies, grocery stores, and other retail outlets have moved out of the city as organized gangs of shoplifters brazenly take whatever they want, in bulk.

The city has made it crystal clear that stealing from businesses is a low-priority crime. The fact that criminals have organized to take advantage of that lax attitude shouldn’t surprise anyone.