Rialto police investigating brazen burglaries at 3 different Walgreens stores

Rialto PD is in the process of assembling a special team to address these type of incidents at retail stores within city limits.

Rob McMillan Image
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Rialto PD investigating brazen burglaries at 3 Walgreens stores
Police believe the same two thieves who burglarized one store in Rialto went and did the same thing at another location and a third Walgreens store in Colton.

RIALTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Rialto police are investigating a burglary at a Walgreens store in which an employee shot video of two thieves grabbing beauty supplies, stuffing them into large bags, and then casually walking out of the store.

The incident happened at the Walgreens on the corner of E. Baseline Road and N. Riverside Avenue on Thursday, March 10.

Police responded to the scene within 10 minutes and have since been following up on leads. So far, no arrests have been made.

READ MORE | 2 women caught on video allegedly stealing merchandise from Rialto Walgreens, police ask for help

"There appears to be no regard or concern with anybody taking their photograph, or videoing them," said Rialto PD Capt. Anthony Vega about the two thieves who wore gloves and face masks. "They're definitely not afraid of anybody confronting them."

Police believe the same two thieves then burglarized another Walgreens store in Rialto, and a third Walgreens store in Colton.

"It appears to be the same suspects that came in and removed the items in the same exact manner and walked out casually with a little over $1,000 worth of beauty supplies," said Vega.

He said Rialto police detectives are investigating nearly a dozen of these kind of incidents in the city over the past year. But it's not a situation unique to the Inland Empire.

Over the past several months, videos posted to social media have gone viral showing violent smash-and-grab operations all across the state, many in which the thieves storm into stores, break through counters to steal expensive merchandise and then run away.

Caught on video: Thieves shatter jewelry store glass displays at mall in Central California

Cell phone video shows about a dozen people inside a mall jewelry store in Central California busting glass display cases and stealing merchandise.

Many in law enforcement blame recent controversial changes to state law, such as Proposition 47, as contributing factors to the rise in these kinds of property crimes.

"It's something that people in law enforcement and the community have been dealing with for years. We have lesser or reduced penalties on criminal offenders, and at this point that have nothing to lose," said Vega. "They're not going to spend a lot of time in jail. They're going to get a citation and be released, and they'll be right back at it that evening committing the same crimes."

Rialto police are in the process of assembling a special team to address these type of incidents at retail stores within the city limits.

Vega said the best thing bystanders can do if they see an incident like this in progress is to safely record video of the incident - if possible - and call police.

"Definitely be a good witness," said Vega. "At the end of the day, we're talking about this because somebody had the wherewithal to take video of it and get some pertinent information for us. So if they can get a safe picture, or video of a license plate leaving, that's really helpful for us."