Dozens of Bay Area Stores, Pharmacies Hit by More Smash-and-Grab ‘Roving Caravans’: Officials

Mobs of smash-and-grab robbers targeted other businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend, robbing cannabis dispensaries, pharmacies, and other businesses in Oakland.

Looters also targeted a Nordstrom in Walnut Creek, a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco, and a jewelry store in a Hayward mall. But looters also targeted other businesses, officials confirmed on Monday.

“At least two dozen businesses were impacted,” Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong told a CBS affiliate station on Monday evening. “Roving caravans of vehicles, targeting cannabis operations, retail shops, pharmacies, throughout the city of Oakland.”

They also targeted a Walgreens location in Oakland, according to officials and locals. A man battling cancer said he tried to visit the store on Sunday and found it closed.

“I’ve got cancer,” David Massey said. “So I’m trying to get certain medications filled and they tell you to go to another Walgreens.”

Massey noted that it is “the third time” the Walgreens location was shut down due to smash-and-grab robberies in recent days.

“It hurts us all,” he said. “Especially the little guy that really needs it.”

Authorities told the CBS affiliate station that another pharmacy, the Wellspring Pharmacy on Piedmont Avenue, was robbed over the weekend. Video footage provided to CBS San Francisco showed throngs of people entering the pharmacy and stealing items, including what appeared boxes of medication.

“This city had to deal with overwhelming violence in this community over the weekend and it’s unacceptable,” Armstrong, the police chief, added. “It’s acceptable for our residents, our visitors. Nobody should have to live through this.”

In San Jose’s Santana Row area, four people allegedly stole about $40,000 from a Lululemon location in another smash-and-grab incident, officials said.

“People need to be alert,” San Jose Police Sgt. Christian Camarillo told The Mercury News. “We’re coming into the busy holiday shopping season. We can’t be everywhere at the same time. We do need citizens’ help; when they see suspicious activity occurring, please let us know, especially at the malls.”

Meanwhile, after the Nordstrom robbery—where up to 80 people took part—Walnut Creek Police Chief Jamie Knox said he’s contacted the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and other agencies to prevent future incidents.

“No city can be prepared for one day, with no notice, 80 people committing an organized theft within one minute,” Walnut Creek mayor Kevin Wilk said, referring to the Nordstrom robbery.

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