Carloads of apparently fearless and extremely brazen thieves, at least one of them armed, are reportedly striking various retail locations around the East Bay tonight (Saturday).
Among the victims are area pharmacies and the Walnut Creek Nordstrom store, frozen and crippled when as many as 80 thieves descended on the store, stealing merchandise and intimidating customers before fleeing in waiting cars.
Walnut Creek police made three arrests and recovered a weapon at the scene, but the highly mobile crews are adept and splitting up and making their getaways before police and civilians recover.
Three Nordstrom employees were treated for a variety of injuries, including exposure to pepper spray, reportedly used when the gang first entered the store – attempting to seize control by overpowering anyone in their way.
Video showing multiple people running from the Walnut Creek Nordstrom with armloads of goods began to surface Saturday night, and one of this site’s video news producers spoke with business people in the area at the time.
In a press release issued Sunday, Walnut Creek police said they stopped and arrested three raiders while the crime was underway Saturday. They identified the arrested as:
Dana Dawson, 30, of San Francisco (gun charges)
Joshua Underwood, 32, of San Francisco
Rodney Robinson, 18, of Oakland
Police said the three were being held on charges of robbery, burglary, conspiracy, possession of stolen property, with Dawson charged with illegal possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.
Police said the incident was a “planned event” with initial calls coming into the department of reckless driving in the area shortly before 9 p.m. Nordstrom employees began to call requesting assistance a short time later, according to police, saying as many as 80 thieves were raiding the store.
Investigators are in the process of reviewing surveillance footage in an effort to identify other suspects, police said.