Black Friday crimes are latest in string of high-profile SoCal robberies

California

LOS ANGELES — As Southern California shoppers headed out to stock up on holiday deals, retailers in high-profile areas were once again the target of smash-and-grab robberies over the Black Friday weekend.

At least three incidents were reported in high-profile areas on Friday, according to authorities. The Los Angeles Police Department went on tactical alert following a robbery at a high-end clothing store in the Melrose area.

Nearby, a Rolex watch was stolen in an armed robbery on Melrose Avenue, according to the LAPD. Three men allegedly used a handgun, police said, and the site of the robbery matches an address for the jewelry business Grillz by Scotty.

A Home Depot in Lakewood was the site of a smash-and-grab after thieves stole tools that could be used for future crimes, according to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. The suspects got away in waiting vehicles after committing the crime just across from the sheriff’s station.

Also on Black Friday weekend, a similar incident that occurred on Oct. 16 came to light. Diners at Hot Wings Café on Melrose Avenue were robbed at gunpoint just before midnight, according to the son of the restaurant owner.

The restaurant owner’s son said the bandits were “in and out within 15 seconds.”

“Your typical Rolex bandit situation … We’ve never seen such heightened levels of crime. We want to see more city officials and LAPD presence in the area. We want to ensure safety for us and for our patrons, for everybody in the community,” he added.

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