Walnut Creek police could increase patrols at Nordstrom after 'grab and run' thefts

Walnut Creek police want to increase its presence in Nordstrom at Broadway Plaza, after a series of "grab and run" thefts officials believe may be connected to "organized retail crime groups."   

The city council will have to sign off on the increased police presence, which would be budgeted over the next year and come through voluntary overtime from officers, estimated to cost $231,514. 

Nordstrom would fully reimburse that amount to the city in quarterly payments. The council took up the matter at its Tuesday meeting. 

The Walnut Creek City Council voted unanimously in favor of the proposal. 

However, at least one speaker was not supportive of it. 

"What would happen if an incident should happen there inside of Nordstrom?" a man said at the meeting. "The liability would then fall on the citizens of Walnut Creek and not Nordstrom and that's why I am speaking out against the proposal." 

A staff report for the meeting said vehicles belonging to the same groups targeting high-end stores around the Bay Area, have been captured on video casing Broadway Plaza.   

"These thefts have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost property and a perception that Nordstrom may be unsafe for patrons," the report says. "The Walnut Creek Nordstrom has experienced instances of this type of crime. 

Nordstrom security staff and management is concerned about the safety of their employees and their customers."  

Officers volunteering for the assignment would be in uniform and subject to the regular police chain of command, which wouldn't require services outside their regular duties to the public. 

Officers would be enforcing state and local laws, not private rules, regulations, and procedures of Nordstrom. Nothing precludes the officers from responding to other emergencies in the city. 

The agreement would last from Aug. 4, 2021, to Aug. 4, 2022. 

KTVU contributed to this report.