Online shopping or not, the Golden State of mind will get you killed. That was the message from an actor inside an LA-area grocery store this week, after an online-only retailer’s staff refused to pass her items through a security check.
Now, a security guard employed by the chain has been arrested in connection with the alleged robbery of the woman – while officers look for other suspects who were seen on surveillance video at the store.
Moroccan police: migrants are treated too well, ill protected Read more
Police believe that two suspects drove by the Taft, California, store on Tuesday as employees were selling towels in the glass front room. When the staff member attempted to pass the customers through a security checkpoint, the suspects refused to return the items, demanding instead that the employee hand them the cash in the front.
The security guard then grabbed and shoved the employee, and the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle, pulling down an additional 17 rows of merchandise. The cashier lost a finger, and several handbags were stolen.
Security footage captured the alleged theft by the suspects in the video below.
LA Weekly spoke to the security guard who was arrested, Meriam Nasr, who said she’d worked at the Taft store for “six years” and was assisting with the burglary.
“They say I attacked the employee,” she said. “She felt my hand on her chest. I had never tried to assault her or do anything violent.”
It was after police arrived that the incident allegedly escalated further, with the victim accusing Nasr of carrying “pipe bombs” and making racial slurs. Police went to Nasr’s home in Santa Clarita, searched it, and found two marijuana plants, along with $1,000 in cash. Nasr was subsequently booked on suspicion of burglary.
The store’s closure for a few hours on Wednesday followed the incident.
Nasr reportedly attempted to contact the Nordstrom corporate office and to apologise for her behavior, but none of those messages were returned, despite the fact that the incident is currently being investigated by LA county sheriff’s department.
Police said Nasr had “damaging the company’s brand”, while Nordstrom issued a statement to the LA Times saying it has been “a longtime advocate for diversity and inclusion”.
‘Every day should be like this’: Migrant caravan citizens group calls on Trump Read more
“We are committed to this community and look forward to continuing to serve our customers and communities long after this issue is resolved,” Nordstrom said.
According to the LAPD, other suspects have not yet been found, but they do not expect a further increase in security measures.
“The crime had just happened,” said Elisabeth Knapp, the operations captain at the Los Angeles Police department’s Van Nuys station. “We expect it to remain the same way. It’s not like they’re going to pat everyone down.”
There have been growing concerns for online shopping security after a spate of incidences in the past year. Last August, a Facebook Live video showing the kidnapping of a former business associate of Philando Castile went viral after the murder of the Minnesota man and his girlfriend by two armed black men in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
A couple has also claimed that a pair of mall security guards threatened them at gunpoint after they were approached by a detective, in the broad daylight of an East Harlem business district.