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Retail Juggernauts Nordstrom And Apple Pay For Policing By Walnut Creek PD Officers

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Faithful readers know we have been semi-documenting the blitz-style retail thefts impacting local businesses for some time, with brazen thievery triggering angry responses from store owners and private citizens for whom the experience has become so commonplace.

Well-heeled local businesses are taking steps to make themselves less attractive targets – with the Walnut Creek City Council on Tuesday granting unanimous approval of an agreement between its Police Department and Nordstrom calling for a uniformed officer to be present at the Broadway Plaza store, a practice already in play across the plaza at the Apple store.

The ongoing series of thefts, almost always conducted by organized crews of thieves who storm a business and make off with thousands of dollars worth of goods while helpless employees look on, appear to target some stores specifically. Before its approval of the Nordstrom agreement Tuesday, Walnut Creek police told the council that swarm robberies at the neighboring Apple store had all but “evaporated” after an officer was placed on duty there.

Walnut Creek’s council approved $231,514 to fund the staffing, which will last for a year and be repaid by Nordstrom in quarterly payments. Officers will volunteer for the assignment, be subject to assignment to higher priority calls, and be paid overtime.

Nordstrom’s security team remains in place, city officials were told. The chain has grown increasingly alarmed by escalating thefts at sister stores and the frequent presence of “crews” who come to Walnut Creek in search of a target.

News of the pending agreement has not gone unnoticed by smaller, though equally hard-hit local businesses victimized by many of the same people targeting Apple and Nordstrom.

“It’s a good agreement for them (the two stores),” said another local business owner who says he’s lost “thousands and thousands” of dollars in goods to retail thieves in recent months. “Part of me is saying ‘good for them,’ while another part of me says ‘now, at least I’ll know where to go to find an officer when they’re robbing me.'”


  1. I spoke against the Nordstrom plan in front of the city council. For two reasons, first it places an officer in position to stop a crime which is not being prosecuted by DA Becton and second, if the officer does get involved in a physical altercation, it’s the city that gets sued, not Nordstrom. Nordstrom should authorize it’s security to make the arrest, tackle or subdue the criminals.

    And, how are the smaller merchants going to pay for this private policing?


      • No, although I am part owner of a rare bookstore, thieves just don’t think of us. Also, it would be very bad for their health given my prior law enforcement experience.


        • Ah! Well, first, way cool on the business model (we just parted with our collection of Civil War regimental histories so we share a thing for old books!) Second, as to your security measures, we’ll be sure not to drop by without advance notice! Good luck…

  2. How many times have Apple and Nordstrom Walnut Creek been hit?

    And idea where these “crews” originate from?

    If the DA won’t prosecute, fire his / her a@@ for deriliction of duty.

  3. Think about the unintended consequences of having the posture CoCo county’s District Attorney decriminalizing our communities. The bad guys get a pass and a business has to pay $231k to defend its own property and customers? How long before a Nordstrom becomes like Walgreens in SF and closes its stores in communities that won’t enforce it’s laws? Seems upside down to me. Elections have consequences and our votes matter, the next vote for DA will be in June 2022.

  4. SFPD has done this at Embarcadero Center for years. Uniformed cops, paid for by the property owners. The Patrol Specials sued over the practice because it replaced PSPs with uniformed officers.

  5. Crews😒. Can’t even talk about the perpetrators (same with Asian hate) so the problem will only get worse until a perpetrator gets hurt. Then they sue.
    What a CF.

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