San Francisco Police Seek Arrests of Looters Caught on Camera During Protests

“We have a standing team of 23 burglary investigators and video analysts, and they are going through hundreds of hours of video from around the city,” David Lazar, Deputy Chief Investigations Bureau with the San Francisco Police said in a San Francisco Chronicle report.

The Chronicle reported on the violence in the city:

During last weekend’s chaos that followed protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, there were 18 smash-ins reported around Union Square and 129 reports of looting citywide.

Unlike other parts of the city, Union Square merchants have been aggressively installing security cameras in recent years while working with police to thwart organized shoplifting gangs. And when the looters rolled up and hit high-end stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Salvatore Ferragamo and West Coast Leather, the cameras were rolling too.

“We have made video footage available to the SFPD and are working with their burglary unit to pull video for the various incidents,” Union Square Business Improvement District Executive Director Karin Flood said.

Cameras caught one group reportedly grabbing almost a million dollars worth of merchandise and loading it into a van. Another video shows a man in a security guard uniform breaking the windows of the Christian Louboutin store on Maiden Lane so that looters could get inside.

“Then the cars come up and people start loading them up,” Lazar said in the Chronicle report. “It seems to be very organized.”

“And it had nothing to do with the protests,” the Chronicle concluded.

Lazar said his department is closing in on the thieves.

“We have also IDd a number of people that are known to us from prior burglaries or other instances,” Lazar said. “We have several suspects and will be pursuing more arrests involving individuals from all over the Bay Area.”

The Chronicle noted that what consequences convicted looters will face is unclear given that looting is considered a “non-violent” crime.

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