Video Shows Mob of Thieves Steal From Small Business Amid Bay Area Crime Wave

More than two dozen people were spotted flooding into a clothing store and grabbing items from shelves in security footage that authorities in Oakland, California, shared Tuesday.

The footage, which police said was from Monday evening, provides just one example of the wave of thefts that have rocked Bay Area stores over the last several days.

The Oakland Police Department shared a 38-second clip of the security footage on its Twitter page Tuesday evening. Police asked members of the public with knowledge about the incident or any of the individuals involved to come forward and share information with law enforcement.

The video shows a steady stream of people running into the store through a single door. The group appears to push past a security gate that can be seen just outside. The individuals are seen wearing hoods, masks and gloves as they grab shoes, clothing and other items off shelves, all while an alarm is blaring in the background.

The store was identified by the Oakland-based news station KTVU as Prime 356. The store's website says it is "a curated showroom of exclusive streetwear, shoes and accessories" that offers customers items they "are unlikely to find anywhere else" in the Bay Area.

Prime 356's three co-owners told KTVU on Tuesday that the thieves pulled open the store's security gate and broke windows. The owners said they believe about 75 percent of their inventory was taken and said another break-in occurred earlier this month. However, the station reported that the owners do not believe Monday night's break-in was conducted by the same thieves responsible for the earlier incident.

Prime 356 Oakland break-in
An Oakland clothing store says it "cannot operate as a business" after thieves were seen breaking into the store in security footage shared by police on Tuesday. Above, glasses sit on the floor next to a piece of a shattered window at a store that was broken into during an unrelated incident on August 10, 2020, in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images

In the wake of this week's break-in, the store's owners on Tuesday launched a fundraiser on GoFundMe that featured a screenshot of the mob of people storming into the store that was taken from the same security footage Oakland police shared on social media. A link to the security footage video on YouTube was also included on the page.

The fundraiser's goal was set at $10,000 and was halfway toward reaching that amount by Wednesday morning.

In the fundraiser's description, the store owners wrote that the two break-ins they've experienced this month have "taken a huge financial toll" on their store. They added that the incidents have also "compromised our peace of mind while at the store" and went on to explain that they were uncertain whether another break-in might occur.

They also wrote that they made modifications to the store's security measures after the first break-in and said it was "disheartening" to experience another theft so quickly. They briefly described the Monday evening incident, writing that more than 30 thieves were involved.

"Our gate was ripped off of its frame, windows smashed in and our door frame was broken. These people stole a majority of our inventory and have essentially put us out of business for the time being," the store's owners wrote.

Newsweek reached out to the Oakland Police Department for comment.