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Damage is seen Sunday at the Louis Vuitton store in Union Square, San Francisco. Photo: Danielle Echeverria/San Francisco Chronicle via AP

About 20 thieves used a sledgehammer and e-bike on Monday night to smash windows, then steal and wreck merchandise at the Nordstrom in The Grove, a luxury mall in Los Angeles, AP reports.

Driving the news: Over the weekend, groups of thieves — some carrying crowbars and hammers — smashed glass cases and window displays and ransacked high-end stores throughout the Bay Area just as the holiday shopping season began.

The big picture: Best Buy on Tuesday cited organized theft as a reason for a decline in gross profit margin in Q3.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke about the sprees Monday, saying he has "no sympathy" for "people smashing and grabbing ... creating havoc and terror in our streets."

  • He promised increased patrols and aggressive prosecution.

Go deeper

Brazen shoplifting schemes sweep the U.S.

San Francisco's Union Square. Photo: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

As the holiday season gets underway, groups of thieves have undertaken brazen shoplifting exploits at stores across the U.S.

Why it matters: Organized retail crime costs retailers on average $700,000 per $1 billion in sales annually, per estimates from the National Retail Federation, and companies are blaming store closures and profit dips on the shoplifting scourge.

Supreme Court appears likely to roll back abortion rights

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed likely to weaken abortion rights and perhaps to let states ban the procedure altogether.

The intrigue: The court seemed likely to throw out the framework established in Roe v. Wade, but it wasn't clear whether a majority of the justices were inclined to overturn the court's precedents entirely.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 46 mins ago - Economy & Business

How to meme a painting

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

How can a physical artwork become an NFT? One new company has just spent $12.9 million on a Banksy in an attempt to try out a new way of converting the real into the virtual.

Why it matters: The art market globally sees volume of about $60 billion per year, almost all of which is trade in physical objects. Art-world insiders including former Christie's c0-chair Loïc Gouzer are on the lookout for ways to monetize physical paintings without necessarily giving up physical ownership of them.