A viral video shows the moment two crooks casually strolled out of a TJ Maxx store in California with armfuls of merchandise. The brazen thieves have no fear of being confronted or arrested as they take their time walking out of the store with heaps of stolen goods.
The shoplifters targeted the TJ Maxx store in Granada Hills, a residential neighborhood located in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. One of the brash thieves doesn't attempt to hide his face; the other is wearing a face mask.
Employees at the department store chain watch as the shoplifters casually walk out of the building with mounds of stolen merchandise. One crook is wearing a gigantic backpack believed to be stuffed with stolen goods in the robbery that took place between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.
The video of the theft was posted on Instagram by user inflnzr.
"I kept my distance for safety reasons," he said on social media. "My focus was to get a license plate number, but when I lost them behind the SUV. I had to hold back a bit, just in case they were waiting for me. Unfortunately they were able to get into their vehicle parked at a distance and drive away."
LAPD said it was investigating the crime, but no arrests have been made yet.
"They didn't even run out, they walked out," Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz told KCBS-TV. "And so, that's sending a message that we, the criminals, are winning."
"If they're caught, they're probably given the equivalent of a traffic ticket," Sandoz added. "So it's not taken seriously."
There have been several viral videos of brazen thefts in California this summer.
A group of thieves were caught on video stealing designer handbags from a Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco earlier this month.
Last month, a thief filled up a trash bag with merchandise from a Walgreens store in San Francisco. The crook walked right past a security guard who was filming the crime.
Theft is so out of control in San Francisco that Target stores in the area started closing early in an attempt to curb the overwhelming crime. Walgreens shuttered 17 stores in San Francisco in the past five years because of rampant shoplifting, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The nationwide pharmacy chain said theft in its San Francisco stores is four time the average elsewhere in the country despite Walgreens spending 35 times more on security guards in the city than everywhere else in the nation.
In Oakland, armed criminals attempted to rob a local news crew interviewing Oakland's violence prevention director on the steps of City Hall in June.
A Rite Aid employee in Los Angeles was shot and killed this week when he confronted two thieves who were stealing two cases of beer.
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill on Wednesday to combat the sweeping crime wave that has hit California. The law makes organized retail theft a crime. The law was first created in 2018, but lawmakers allowed it to lapse on July 1. Prosecutors can charge the crime as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Los Angeles and San Francisco are ranked in the top five cities experiencing organized retail theft, according to the National Retail Federation.