California – About 80 people, some of them with their faces covered and armed with barrettes, looted a luxury store in the San Francisco Bay area, assaulting employees and stealing merchandise before escaping in waiting cars, reported authorities and witnesses.

Three people were arrested and the rest escaped following the large-scale robbery Saturday night of the Nordstrom store, located in the Broadway Plaza outdoor mall in Walnut Creek, police said in a statement Sunday. Customers were shocked by what happened.

Two employees were assaulted and one more was pepper sprayed in what police described as “an obviously planned event.”

Jodi Hernandez, a reporter for NBC Bay Area, tweeted that she saw thieves enter the store in the downtown business district, located about 20 miles northeast of San Francisco.

“About 25 cars simply blocked the street and (their passengers) sped into the Walnut Creek Nordstrom, taking goods before boarding the vehicles and speeding away.”Hernandez tweeted.

A video of the incident taken with a cell phone shows masked people leaving the store with bags and boxes, getting into their cars and escaping.

Brett Barrette, manager of the PF Chang’s restaurant which is located a short distance from the store, began to close the doors of his establishment while watching the chaotic scene.

“We probably saw between 50 and 80 people with ski masks, barrettes and various weapons”Barrette told ABC 7 News.

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The Walnut Creek Police Department said a firearm was recovered from one of the three arrested suspects.

Nordstrom employees began calling the 9-1-1 emergency number at approximately 9:00 p.m. as thieves entered the store and began stealing merchandise, police said.

“Walnut Creek Police Investigators are in the process of reviewing security camera footage in an attempt to identify other suspects responsible for this blatant act.”the store said in the statement.

Nordstrom opened normally on Sunday.


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