A car crash on Oakland's Lakeshore Avenue Monday afternoon was apparently connected to a retail theft at a Lululemon store in Napa and a law enforcement chase across four counties.

The incident began with an alleged organized retail theft in Napa around 4 pm. Multiple individuals had reportedly stolen $2,500 worth of merchandise from the Lululemon boutique in downtown Napa. Napa police spotted the suspects in a Lexus GS 350 and attempted to stop the vehicle, as the police department explains on Facebook.

"The vehicle did not yield and a pursuit ensued," the Napa PD says in a release. "With the assistance of the American Canyon Police Department, we pursued the vehicle until near the Carquinez Bridge where it was relinquished to the California Highway Patrol air and ground units."

A CHP plane was reportedly dispatched to track the vehicle as it entered Contra Costa County. When the vehicle passed through Richmond on I-80, the CHP says, "With the airplane overhead, CHP said ground units backed off."

The chase ended up in the jurisdiction of the Oakland PD by around 4:30 pm, at which point the suspects were reportedly driving recklessly through city streets.

The car ended up losing control and overturning on Lakeshore Avenue near Lake Merritt, in the vicinity of Beacon Street, as KTVU reports. It's not clear if any of the four occupants in the vehicle sustained any injuries.

Oakland police took the four suspects into custody, they say, and they seized the merchandise, which all still had electronic security tags on it.

A video posted on the Citizen app shows officers picking up piles of clothing items near the totaled car and putting them in trash bags.

The CHP's organized retail theft unit has been conducting sting operations in recent months in order to root out fencing operations that make thefts like these profitable for thieves. In one such operation in November, CHP officers busted a retail theft ring in which they seized $350,000 worth of allegedly stolen goods, including common toiletry items from CVS, Walgreens, and Target.

Earlier this month, an investigation by CNBC into organized retail theft rings led to the home of one San Diego woman, Michelle Mack, who was the alleged ringleader of a vast, 11-state operation in which stolen goods like cosmetics were being resold on Amazon.

But high-speed chases of retail thieves have been especially controversial as they have resulted in deaths of suspects and innocent drivers, all over relatively petty crimes.

In one instance just last week, El Cerrito police pursued two suspects believed to be involved in the burglary of a smoke shop. The high-speed chase led to the Bay Bridge toll plaza where the suspects made a U-turn and sped the wrong way up a ramp toward Oakland, colliding with a BMW and killing the driver of that car, and gravely injuring themselves.

The Chronicle conducted an investigation of police pursuits nationwide, published last month, which found that at least 3,336 people died in high-speed chases in the the six years ending in 2022, over 550 of whom were innocent bystanders/drivers. They also found that in 1,900 instances of police-initiated chases, 1,550 of the people killed "died over traffic infractions, nonviolent crimes or no crime at all."

Previously: Lululemon Store on Fillmore Targeted Twice For Organized Theft Last Week, Four Suspects Charged

Photo via Citizen app