HAYWARD (CBS SF) — Looters targeting Bay Area businesses struck again Sunday evening, with smash-and-grab thieves hitting the Southland Mall in Hayward and suspects taking merchandise from a Lululemon store in San Jose.
Hayward police told KPIX they responded around 5:30 p.m. Sunday to multiple calls from stores in Southland Mall.
Witnesses said a large mob of people caused a huge disturbance inside the mall, with some briefly taking over a jewelry store.
Witnesses said some 40 to 50 looters wielding hammers and other tools looted Sam’s Jewelers, breaking glass cases and quickly fleeing. The Macy’s store was also ransacked.
In taken during the robbery, you can hear workers inside Sam’s Jewelers screaming in fear.
“It was a whole bunch of glass shattering,” said one person who was at the mall during the incident.
Witnesses say this was the tail end of a much scarier and bigger scene.
“I would say at least 30 to 40 [people] from what I saw,” said another witness, who declined to identify themselves. “But then after the main group of kids rushed out, we saw 15 to 20 scattering, some even came back in.”
KPIX spoke with two women who work near Sam’s Jewelers. They and other mall workers said some kids ran into other stores and left with shoes and clothing.
“We saw all the other stores closing. They were panicking, so we were panicking and quickly closed our store and barricaded ourselves,” said one of the women.
Hayward police said multiple 911 calls came in at around 5:25 p.m., just before closing time. Most of the stores at the mall close at 6 p.m.
“I’m a little shaken up. But glad to go home,” one mall worker told KPIX.
“It was very scary,” said another. “People with no morals, no sense for other people’s safety. I feel helpless. It’s disturbing.”
Police could not immediately say how much jewelry was taken from the store or the volume of merchandise other stores in the mall lost.
It was unclear if the Hayward robbery is connected to the robbery targeting a Louis Vuitton store among other businesses in San Francisco’s Union Square on Friday or the Nordstrom robbery in Walnut Creek on Saturday. Thieves also hit up multiple marijuana dispensaries in Oakland overnight.
No arrests have been reported by police.
Meanwhile in San Jose Sunday evening, police said that at approximately 6:30 p.m., a group of suspects entered the Lululemon store in Santana Row and took merchandise. They fled prior to police arriving. No other information was immediately available,
It marked the third straight day a large mob of robbers have gone after retailers in the Bay Area.
The brazen robberies came hours after Walnut Creek police issued a warning on social media that there maybe a repeat of the bedlam that broke out in their community on Saturday night.
“The Walnut Creek Police Department is actively monitoring intelligence that indicates the group of thieves who stole from the Broadway Plaza Nordstrom last night are considering similar activity later today,” police posted in Twitter and it was shared by Hayward police.
“This has not been confirmed, but out of an abundance of caution, we’re alerting businesses and residents to be prepared… some stores may consider closing early or taking other precautions. There is no specific time or target known right now.”
On Saturday night, dozens of looters swarmed into the Nordstrom store in downtown Walnut Creek, terrorizing shoppers, assaulting employees, ripping off bag loads of merchandise and ransacking shelves before fleeing in a several vehicles waiting for them on the street.
Walnut Creek Lt. Ryan Hibbs told KPIX that three people were in custody and others were being sought.
“Walnut Creek police investigators are in the process of reviewing surveillance footage to attempt to identify other suspects responsible for this brazen act,” authorities said in Sunday morning news release.
Police began receiving calls from Nordstrom employees about the looting at around 9 p.m. He said there were approximately 80 individuals who ran into the store and began looting and smashing shelves.
Two employees suffered injuries when they were assaulted and another was pepper sprayed by the suspects.
Da Lin contributed to this story.