Crime and Safety

Watch: Would-Be Robber Knocks Himself Out Cold During Heist – Cops Instantly Take Their Opportunity

It was a quick reversal of fortunes for a Bellevue, Washington, thief who had made his way into a Louis Vuitton store just fine.

The process of ripping off about $18,000 worth of handbags went fairly quickly. Then it was time for the getaway.

Or not.

The 17-year-old who wanted to dash to safety ended up charging into a plate glass window and knocking himself out, according to KOMO-TV.

Two female accomplices who knew the difference between a doorway and a window made it out of the store during the August incident, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail.

The impact of hitting the window left the teen semi-conscious when police arrived, Bellevue Police Department Public Information Officer Meeghan Black said.

The teen was arrested and later released into the custody of his family.

“Brazen is the perfect word for it,” Bellevue police Capt. Rob Spingler said.

Do you think that criminals are getting more bold with their crimes?

Bellevue police said they have arrested more than 50 repeat offenders at the Home Depot in cases of robbery and shoplifting.

The Bellevue teen was part of an organized theft ring, police said.

According to the National Retail Federation, stores have reported a 26.5 percent increase this year in organized retail crime, and losses, dubbed shrink, topped $100 billion in 2021.

Christian Beckner, senior director of retail technology and cybersecurity at the National Retail Federation, said the problem of retail theft is nationwide, according to Retail Touchpoints.

“A lot of the media attention goes to a few particular areas in the country — California and elsewhere — but what we see is that this is a nationwide problem: big cities, small towns, mid-size cities, urban, rural,” Beckner said.

“There are differences to some extent, state by state, but it certainly is something that we look at as a national issue,” he said. “Part of the issue is even if the theft is taking place in one state or one city, a lot of the time the goods that are being stolen are moved to another state to be resold, or groups are going from state to state, or region to region, and carrying out the same types of the same modus operandi in different stores.”

Jeremy Girard of the Oregon Retail Crime Association said retail theft in the Portland area was “at a crisis level,” according to KGW-TV report in October.

Girard estimated losses at some stores of between $1 million and $5 million.

“Stores are not going to be able to sustain for the long haul if organized retail crime continues to get worse,” he said.

“Basically, anything that has resale value is being targeted,” he said.

Penny Pahl, the owner of IGSM Wireless, told KOMO that more must be done to save small businesses.

“We put our blood and sweat into our businesses and for someone to just be so brazen to walk into our business and take what we work our whole life for? It is taking away our livelihood,” Pahl said.

She said the issue runs deeper than arrests.

“If these guys are caught, they go to court, they go through the process, but what are the repercussions?” Pahl asked.

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