At least 8 men steal tools from Home Depot in California

LAKEWOOD, Calif. — At least eight men entered a Home Depot store in California and stole hammers, sledgehammers and crowbars Friday night, prompting concerns about another smash-and-grab incident in the area, authorities said.

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According to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the men entered the Home Depot in Lakewood at about 7:46 p.m. PST and walked to the tool aisle. The men selected the tools, which were worth approximately $400, and left without paying, KTLA reported.

The sheriff’s department said the men were seen exiting the store and possibly leaving in a red Mercedes-Benz that had severe damage to its front.

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Luis Romo, a Home Depot employee, told KTLA he saw the men enter the store together and grab the tools.

“They had the sledgehammers ready to hit people who were trying to stop them,” Romo told the television station.

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The sheriff’s department said there were other vehicles in the parking lot at the time of the theft, but it was unclear if they were involved.

The incident comes after two “smash-and-grab” robberies at Nordstrom stores near San Francisco and in Los Angeles.

A Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco’s Union Square was ransacked by thieves last week, authorities said.

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The latest case in Los Angeles County remains under investigation, the sheriff’s department said.