A group of shameless shoplifters swiped armfuls of clothing and accessories from a popular California department store — casually strolling out the doors with the loot as shocked shoppers looked on and store workers appeared to do nothing, video shows.
The wild footage obtained by KNBC shows at least two thieves going on a shoplifting spree late Saturday at a Marshalls in Hemet, where one even used a wire cutter to slash security leashes on several pricey purses.
Another shopper at the store, Lindsey Rodriguez, said one of the audacious thieves brazenly grabbed all the clothing he could carry before walking out without paying for anything. The Hemet resident said she saw three people in all stealing from the store within a 10-minute span.
“People shopping there were just kind of standing there watching,” Rodriguez told the station. “The only thing I figured I could is at least get their identities and license plates and give them to somebody who will do something with them.”
Rodriguez and her husband decided to follow the purse thief, who ran outside to an awaiting car that drove off.
The angry woman called 911 and a police officer responded and ran the vehicle’s license plate, the station reported.
Rodriguez also accused Marshalls’ employees of standing idly by as the shoplifters continued to make their way throughout the store, grabbing whatever they could carry.
“The people that work at Marshalls are working and sit there on the clock and watch these people just steal from everybody,” she said.
Rodriguez’s cellphone video also showed one man walked out with a large bundle of clothing while looking back at employees who appeared to do nothing.
“I’ve worked every single day, 40 hours a week during this whole pandemic,” Rodriguez told KNBC. “And then I go in and see that, and it’s disheartening. It’s not Hemet.”
Hemet police said no one at the department store had reported the brazen shoplifting as of Tuesday, KNBC reported.
“What is this teaching our children?” Rodriguez asked. “I don’t want my kids to see that kind of stuff when we are going shopping at 7 o’clock at night … Citizens have to do something. We need to start standing up for ourselves because nobody else is doing it right now.”
A message seeking comment from Marshalls reps was not immediately returned early Wednesday.
The fearless shoplifters were spotted just weeks after two thieves walked out of a Lowe’s in Keizer, Oregon, with thousands of dollars of electrical wire as store employees looked on but didn’t stop them.
Cops said the Lowe’s didn’t report the Aug. 25 theft until the following day while noting that many jails in Oregon aren’t taking suspects charged with certain crimes, including theft, in an effort to cut jail populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police said the Lowe’s heist was part of a shoplifting surge during the ongoing pandemic.
“Once you’ve stolen from Lowe’s once and know they can’t stop you, there’s no real consequence,” Keizer police Lt. Andrew Copeland told the Keizer Times. “Second thing is, these people know they can’t go to jail.”