WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — Dozens of looters swarmed into the Nordstrom store in downtown Walnut Creek Saturday night, terrorizing shoppers, ripping off bag loads of merchandise and ransacking shelves before fleeing in a several vehicles waiting for them on the street.
Walnut Creek Lt. Ryan Hibbs told KPIX 5 that police began receiving calls about the looting at around 9 p.m. He said there were approximately 80 individuals who ran into the store and began looting and smashing shelves.
Video shot at the scene shows the masked looters streaming out of the store, carrying bags and boxes, jumping into the cars.
Dozens of police vehicles also responded to the scene.
Hibbs said officers stopped one vehicle and arrested both suspects — a male and a female — inside. The male was charged with robbery, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit burglary and possession of burglary tools. The female was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm.
Stolen property from the looting and a firearm was recovered from their vehicle.
A third suspect was caught on foot and arrested. He was also charged with robbery, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit burglary and possession of burglary tools.
Brett Barrette is one of the managers of P.F. Chang’s restaurant across from the Nordstrom store. He watched as the bedlam unfolded.
“I probably saw 50-80 people in like ski masks with crowbars, a bunch of weapons,” he said. “They were looting the Nordstrom.”
“There was a mob of people,” he continued. “The police were flying in. It was like a scene out of a movie. It was insane.”
Barrette also worried about the safety of the diners in his restaurant. Many crowded around the windows to watch the looters flee.