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Walnut Creek City Council to Hold Special Meeting on Nordstrom Smash-and-Grab

WALNUT CREEK (BCN/CBS SF) -- The Walnut Creek City Council will hold a special meeting Wednesday to discuss hiring five new police officers to patrol downtown in response to the Nov. 20 looting of Nordstrom by 90 masked bandits rushing the store just before closing, making off with about $125,000 in merchandise.

One of three suspects arrested in the mob-style robbery pleaded not guilty to a series of felony charges in court on Monday.

ALSO READ: Nervous Holiday Shoppers Find Barricades, More Police After Walnut Creek Smash-and-Grab Robberies

Police said they found more than $2,000 worth of merchandise in 19-year-old Rodney Robinson's car.

Robinson was denied bail by the presiding judge in Martinez.

His godfather told KPIX off camera that the charges were "not in his godson's character." He added that he didn't see Robinson as the "brainchild behind it" and that it must've been "an opportunity that presented itself" in the wake of the Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal.

Last week, Robinson and two other suspects -- 30-year-old Dana Dawson and 32-year-old Joshua Underwood -- were charged with multiple felonies by Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

In the proposed plan, the city would spend $2 million of its remaining $4 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding on new Broadway Plaza security measures. In addition to the five police officers -- costing $1.6 million if funded through the end of June 2023, as recommended by staff -- the city would also spend $215,000 for additional security cameras and $35,000 for a tether drone 100 feet over the area.

ALSO READ: Shaken Holiday Shoppers Changing Plans in Wake Of Retail Smash-and-Grab Crime Spree

The council would also allocate $130,000 for immediate overtime pay for additional officers three days a week through June 30, 2022.

The staff recommendations would leave the city with $2 million in ARPA funds to spend in the future.

The council will also likely formally approve sending letters to the district attorney, state legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom, expressing concern and asking for additional resources.

The Nov. 20 theft made national headlines for its scale and boldness. Suspects arrived in up to 25 vehicles just before 9 p.m., blocking the street in front of Nordstrom as they raced inside. Two employees were injured, one was pepper-sprayed and another with threatened with a knife, according to a staff report for Wednesday's meeting.

The attack was one of many similar attacks in the Bay Area that weekend by dozens of armed suspects at stores in occurring in downtown San FranciscoHayward, Santa Rosa and San Jose.. Authorities have said it's not clear whether the cases are related.

The street running through Broadway Plaza is closed until the end of the year at least, Mayor Kevin Wilk has said.

The Walnut Creek City Council will meet at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the council chamber, at 1666 N. Main St.. The meeting can be accessed on the city's YouTube channel or at (webinar ID: 83663187906, passcode 015005).

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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