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Riot Glass® retrofit systems consist of custom-made security glass and framing designs that provide maximum protection against forced entry and ballistic threats.

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Riot Glass® can be used to secure any building. Virtually invisible yet nearly indestructible, it blends seamlessly in almost any existing window, door, or

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New Security Measures Against Smash-and-Grabs in Los Angeles

Written By: Brad CampbellDecember 1, 2023

While high profile smash-and-grab thefts have been on the rise in major cities across the nation, Los Angeles has been one of the hardest hit by such crimes.

In fact, California as a whole has been witnessing such a wave of smash-and-grabs that Governor Gavin Newsom has announced a grant of $270 million to combat retail theft, including smash-and-grab theft and other types, in the state.

This grant funding will be spread out between different law enforcement agencies, with more than $15 million going towards fighting retail theft and smash-and-grabs in Los Angeles.

More on the Los Angeles Smash-and-Grab Grant Funding

The funding will go towards strengthening existing retail theft task forces throughout the county to help reduce smash-and-grab theft in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.

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The LA County Sheriff’s Department has already stated that it plans to go after not only those who commit these thefts, but also everyone in the criminal chain, including those driving getaway vehicles and those who buy and sell stolen retail goods.

This is good news for retailers who have been facing an uptick of brazen, organized smash-and-grabs known as flash robberies, or flash robs, in recent months.

What Are Flash Robberies?

Flash robs take their name from the once-popular viral dance trend known as flash mobs. 

In a flash robbery, a large group of thieves — typically dozens — descend on a large, usually high-end retail store, usually during business hours and with no regard for security personnel, cameras, or alarms.

These criminals rely on the element of surprise and the chaos they create, smashing large numbers of windows and display cases and grabbing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise before making their getaway in various vehicles awaiting them nearby.

Even if one or several thieves participating in a flash rob get caught, their speed and sheer numbers make it difficult to catch them all, and retailers have a hard time recuperating a significant amount of their stolen merchandise.

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Although flash rob-style smash-and-grabs have been around for years now, they’ve been occurring more frequently and have become more brazen and violent in recent times, especially in the last couple of years since the pandemic. 

This alarming trend is what has prompted the government grant to fight smash-and-grabs in Los Angeles and other California cities.

How Serious Are Flash Rob-Style Smash-and-Grabs in Los Angeles?

According to the Associated Press, in August 2023 several dozen people perpetrated a flash robbery at an LA-area Nordstrom, bear-spraying a security guard and making off with somewhere in the range of $60,000 to $100,000 in high-end merchandise, including luxury handbags and designer clothing.

This is just a recent example of the concerning type of smash-and-grab crime we’re seeing in LA and the surrounding areas, going to show the need for new security measures to combat smash-and-grabs in Los Angeles County.

When such an attack occurs, it’s not just the loss of merchandise that affects retailers — there’s also expensive property damage and potential trauma to employees and customers to consider. These things can affect a retailer that’s been hit by a smash-and-grab long after it’s over.

While hearing that law enforcement agencies will receive significant funding to help fight retail theft in all its forms is great, it’s still incredibly important for retailers to consider ways to implement robust physical security measures to deter and prevent smash-and-grab theft.

How Can Retailers Protect Themselves Against Smash-and-Grabs?

One innovative solution that luxury and specialty retailers can employ to protect their merchandise and maintain an inviting shopping environment is Riot Glass® security glazing. 

Riot Glass offers a robust defense against smash-and-grab theft and other types of forced entry and burglary while preserving aesthetics, visibility, and natural light, making it an ideal choice for upscale retail environments.

Composed of multiple layers of security laminates, including polycarbonates, acrylics, and other plastics, Riot Glass is exceptionally tough, making it virtually impervious to attempted break-ins. 

When retrofitted over existing storefront windows or used for display cases, Riot Glass ensures that even the most determined thieves find it nearly impossible to shatter the glass, providing retailers with peace of mind that their valuable merchandise is safe.

Benefits of Using Riot Glass for High-End Retail Stores

Despite its formidable protective properties, Riot Glass looks and feels like traditional storefront glass. It maintains visibility and preserves the inviting ambiance that luxury and specialty retailers depend on. 

This glazing technology is engineered to be optically clear, meaning that it does not distort the view from inside or outside the store. Retailers can continue to showcase their products effectively and attract customers without creating a visible barrier between them and the merchandise.

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Riot Glass also allows ample natural light to penetrate the store. Its transparency ensures that the interior remains well-lit, creating a pleasant shopping experience that encourages foot traffic. This characteristic is crucial for luxury and specialty retailers who rely on the visual appeal of their products and the overall ambiance of their stores to attract and engage customers.

Curb appeal is another essential factor for high-end retailers. Riot Glass’ sleek design complements the architectural aesthetics of luxury storefronts, ensuring that the exterior remains as attractive as ever.

In addition to protecting against smash-and-grab theft, Riot Glass reinforces storefront windows against a full range of threats, including after hours burglary, rioting and looting, vandalism, storm damage, blast damage, and active threats.

Wrapping Up

As criminals continue to evolve their methods and become less concerned with traditional components of commercial security systems, it’s just as crucial for retailers as it is for law enforcement to find new ways to combat them.

Riot Glass security glazing is a game-changing solution for luxury and specialty retailers seeking to protect their stores from smash-and-grab theft. 

Due to its specific formulations, Riot Glass outperforms and outlasts similar security glazing products on the market, providing a long-lasting investment that allows retailers to safeguard their merchandise against various forms of theft.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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