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Trend Of Violent "Store Takeover" Robberies Affecting California

A trend of violent "store takeover" robberies is starting to make its way from Northern California to Southern California.

Just after midnight Monday, thieves with sledgehammers tried to smash the storefront windows of a Louis Vuitton and a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills, but the glass didn't break, which city officials say is by design. The thefts are believed to be part of sophisticated criminal networks that recruit mainly young people to steal merchandise in stores throughout the country then sell it in online marketplaces. The thefts are ratcheting up as the holiday shopping season gets underway, experts and officials said.

“We’re not talking about someone who needs money or needs food. These are people who go out and do this is for high profit, and for the thrill,” said Ben Dugan, president of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail.

Those who do the stealing get paid between $500 and $1,000 to take as much as they can and bring it back to organizers who ship it to other parts of the country.

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