Police Start Making Arrests In ‘Smash & Grab’ Ring

According to reports, officials have started making arrests to dismantle an organized retail theft ring after over 150 “smash and grab” robberies in Oregon and Washington that resulted in the loss of almost $500,000 worth of cosmetics.

On December 28, 2023, the Lynwood, Washington Police Department and the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force announced the arrest of a 26-year-old female. The woman’s identity has not been disclosed to the media.

Robbery and systematic retail theft are among the charges. The police in Lynwood have stated their intention to continue investigating the woman’s actions and make further arrests in this case.

The lady has allegedly been captured on camera committing many robberies, often with accomplices, while behaving in a “chaotic” and potentially hazardous way, according to reports. She’s been recorded smashing and destroying a number of shop displays during her thefts and often uses bear spray to scare any staff who confronts her.

In addition, the Lynwood Police Department has released at least one video of the lady committing a robbery. In the footage, the woman can be seen tearing shelves out of displays and breaking them.

Ulta has been helping the police in their investigation. The lady has cost the company more than $450,000 so far. The same thief has allegedly committed multiple thefts in Oregon and Washington.

The statistics used to determine whether shoplifting is increasing or decreasing are fairly contradictory. Although there has been a noticeable decline in the number of shoplifting events since the beginning of the epidemic, the average value of products taken in each incidence has increased. This is likely related to the growth of organized crime rings, which have caused widespread fear among merchants nationwide. According to retailers, more shoplifting offenses have escalated into violent crimes in the last year.