Authorities are investigating smash-and-grab robberies at two stores inside the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon Thursday night.
The robberies were reported at around 6:30 p.m. at the 48000 block of Seminole Drive.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Office, employees reported multiple subjects entered the businesses wearing masks and dark clothing armed with hammers and smashed display cases, stealing thousands of dollars of property.
The investigation is ongoing. There are no further details available.
On Thursday, California approved nearly $267 million to help dozens of local law enforcement agencies increase patrols, buy surveillance equipment and conduct other activities aimed at cracking down on smash-and-grab robberies happening around the state.
Palm Springs emerged as a significant beneficiary of this financial injection, receiving about $4.5 million to tackle the rising tide of retail theft within the city.
"It's an amazing amount of money for us to try to prevent and reduce retail theft in the city of Palm Springs," said Palm Springs Police Chief Andrew Mills.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office was awarded more than $2 million. The DA's office announced the funding will be used to create a dedicated and experienced team to prosecute and investigate Organized Retail Theft.
“These grant funds are critical to elevating organized retail theft prosecution to the same level as we do other complex fraud offenses,” said Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin. “We recognize this as a serious problem, which impacts every single consumer and retailer in Southern California. Our ORT program will use proven strategies specially designed to identity the core participants behind these operations, and then hold them accountable.”
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