WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — West Hartford police are investigating robberies that happened at Macy’s in the Westfarms Mall and a nearby Ulta Tuesday.
Officers responded to the Westfarms Mall just before 4 p.m. on a report of a robbery at the Macy’s within the mall.
Macy’s Loss Prevention told police four suspects entered the store with large black garbage bags and began filling them with merchandise. A Macy’s Loss Prevention officer attempted to intervene, struggling with one of the suspects, police said.
WATCH: Surveillance footage of suspects entering the store
At that time, police said one of the suspects reached for his waistband, which they say imply he was armed.
That upgrades the crime to a felony.
“That raises the ante for the civilian population, for loss prevention, for anybody who might be in the general area and for officers too,” said West Hartford Police Department Captain Eric Rocheleau. “When and if we do locate those parties, it raises the ante for us as well.”
The loss prevention officer disengaged and the suspects fled, police said. The loss prevention officer was not injured.
Minutes later, police said the Ulta at 1555 New Britain Ave. in West Hartford reported their store had a similar theft. Police said Ulta employees reported three suspects entered the store with garbage bags and began stealing a large amount of fragrances.
WATCH: Surveillance footage of suspects with garbage bags
Police said the suspects fled in a dark grey Toyota Highlander that has not been located. Police said the West Hartford Ulta was alerted their Waterbury store had a similar theft happen around 3:30 p.m.
Police are concerned this could blossom into the national trend.
“We are seeing more of these. This did happen to Ulta last month, where they did the same kind of operation. You’ve seen the California Louis Vuitton takeover type robberies. In this case, the Macy’s one turned into a robbery,” Rocheleau said.
West Hartford police has reached out to businesses, helping them with security and theft prevention.
“We went over a number of safety precautions for them to take as far as where to stage the merchandise, so the high-end stuff you don’t want to leave that by the door,” Rocheleau said.
If you recognize any of the suspects or have any information, call the West Hartford Police Department at (860) 523-5203.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 8 for updates.