Upscale Beverly Hills stores are closing due to a surge in smash-and-grab robberies.
In a TikTok video, influencer “Nostalgic Angelino” displayed over a dozen closed retailers and restaurants in Beverly Hills, leaving empty storefronts.
This is crazy.
Even Beverly Hills has become a boarded up ghost town due to all of the crime.
This video is staggering. 😞 pic.twitter.com/kbjeAbjiUL
— QE Infinity (@StealthQE4) September 5, 2023
Several businesses, including renowned luxury brands such as Barneys New York and Escada, have filed for bankruptcy in recent years. Other prominent stores and eateries, like Chanel, Rite Aid, Barnes and Noble, Niketown, Chipotle, and Starbucks, now have vacant locations.
The empty stores starkly contrast with the city’s glamorous and opulent reputation, where celebrities, fashion enthusiasts, and business tycoons are often captured by paparazzi.
Saks Fifth Avenue, Hermes, and Gucci have successfully remained open amid the surge in crime.
Outside of Beverly Hills, California has been experiencing a surge in crime since the pandemic began. As reported by Breitbart News, San Francisco, plagued by crime, had to close its Nordstrom store after 35 years due to a significant increase in theft.
California has faced a rampant crime wave, with numerous department stores falling victim to smash-and-grab robberies. Additionally, last week in Pasadena, masked thieves robbed a jewelry store of $500,000 worth of merchandise after pepper-spraying its owner, Sam Babikian.
Babikian said, “As soon as I opened the door, I got pepper sprayed right in my eye, my throat, my mouth. I couldn’t see anything. Then all I could hear was smashing and grabbing.”
He continued, “Most of my merchandise is gone. Most of the showcases are empty. This one hurts. I’m very grateful they did not harm me; they did not fight. Thank God that nothing happened to me, and I’m still alive.”
Afterward, individuals wearing masks pilfered thousands of dollars worth of power tools from a Long Beach, California, Home Depot.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared that the state’s highway patrol will join the efforts to combat organized crime.
In a press release, Newsom said, “The state is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to crack down on organized crime, and when our local partners need further assistance, we’re ready with a helping hand.”
According to the governor’s office. The California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force, established in 2019, has apprehended over 1,250 individuals and reclaimed over $30 million worth of stolen goods since its inception.