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Flash mob smash-and-grabs continue at high-end stores in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — More smash-and-grab “flash mob” robberies at luxury stores have police and retailers struggling with how to crack down on the crimes.

A rash of such thefts continued in Los Angeles as organized groups descended on stores and grabbed expensive merchandise in pre-Thanksgiving raids around the city.

On Wednesday night, a security guard was attacked with bear spray as several people entered the Nordstrom store at the Westfield Topanga & the Village shopping center in Canoga Park, grabbed merchandise and ran out, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Police are investigating a similar incident the same night in which groups struck several stores in the Beverly Center in the Beverly Grove neighborhood

The thefts came two days after an organized group broke into a Nordstrom at the Grove shopping center by smashing a window and stole thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise, police said.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission that the department would be stepping up patrols and dedicating additional resources to some higher-end locations to deter the wave of mob thefts.

 

—Los Angeles Times

Biden oil leasing blueprint will urge climate change-focused changes

The Biden administration on Friday issued a long-awaited blueprint for overhauling oil and gas development on federal lands that includes boosting royalty rates despite high gasoline prices that have spurred demands to accelerate domestic production.

The Interior Department report recommends higher fees and more limits on federal oil and gas leasing to better account for climate change and ensure a higher return to taxpayers. The analysis represents the the culmination of a comprehensive review that President Joe Biden ordered in January.

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