July 14, 2024
The theft was the latest in a string of mob robberies at retail stores in Southern California.

A group of suspects ran into a temporary Gucci store in Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza, grabbed an estimated $100,000 of handbags and ran out to waiting cars in the parking lot Wednesday evening, Aug. 16, authorities said.

Costa Mesa police were searching for five to 10 suspects who hustled into the store just after 7:15 p.m. while the store was open and customers were inside, Sgt. Jose Morales said.

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The suspects didn’t use any weapons and there were no reported injuries, the sergeant said.

The store, at a temporary location while the primary store is under construction, is close to multiple exits, Morales said.

Police were on scene within minutes, Morales said.

The specific number of handbags stolen and the direction in which the suspects fled from the store was unclear.

The theft was the latest in a string of mob robberies at retail stores, primarily in Los Angeles County, including at a Nordstrom at the Westfield Topanga Mall and an Yves Saint Laurent store at the Americana at Brand in Glendale when $400,000 in merchandise was stolen.

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Another group of about 12 suspects attempted to hit a Gucci store at the Americana at Brand on Aug. 2, but their attempt was thwarted by a quick police response and inability to get into the store, Glendale Police Chief Manuel Cid said.

In response to the recent retail thefts, Mayor Karen Bass and Los Angeles area law enforcement officials Thursday announced the formation of a task force to crack down on retail thefts.

Costa Mesa police asked that anyone with information regarding the Gucci theft to call Detective M. Richie at 714-754-5120.