The murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers has led to protests and chaos all over the United States of America. California is not spared in this situation either like other cities and states. While some of these protests have been peaceful, some form of protests have led to looting, theft and even vandalizing of property.
This looting has not spared car dealerships as well. Reportedly around 70 premium cars have been stolen from San Leandro Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in the looting that happened on Sunday. These cars are estimated to be worth $2.7 Million. The stolen cars include jeeps, trucks, and some of the pricey premium cars. Not only did the protesters steal the cars, they also vandalized and rammed other vehicles they couldn’t get their hands on. It is said that these looters separated themselves from the peaceful protesters who were demanding justice for the murder of George Floyd. They first looted the Nike clearance store that is just across the street from the dealership store. After breaking and entering in the car showroom, the looters accessed the key to the lockbox which they later used to locate the cars.
As stated by small-business owners who spoke out on this matter: “It was a war zone.” According to the reports issued by FOX 2, “Nearly all of the dealership’s $90,000 Dodge Challenge SRT Hellcats were stolen.”
San Leandro Police Department Ltd. also weighed in on this situation. One of the officers Ted Henderson said that he didn’t know if it was an opportunistic crime or if it was planned. He also said that no arrests have been made but, the police are trying to identify suspects based on the surveillance footage.
“The events in Minneapolis have re-opened old, raw wounds and forced us to confront societal injustices that need to be addressed,” Chief Jeff Tudor wrote in a statement posted on the Facebook page of department. “Those who peacefully protested have started that conversation. But, those who have looted and stoked violence in our community are hurting that effort.”
Apart from this, there is also news that around 20 to 25 stolen vehicles have been recovered as shared by one of the officers Ted Henderson. Henderson also said that the recovered vehicles were damaged and some were chopped for their parts. “As we are getting them back, I’ve got cars without engines,” the owner of the San Leandro Chrysler Dodge dealership, Carlos Hidalgo told the reporters. He also said that even though he blocked the exits in the showroom as a precaution, the thieves “started ramming, ramming until they could get out. They took out chains and fence posts. It was a very malicious act.” “It’s not a cause for anybody. This is just bad thieves. It’s horrible. This is domestic terrorism brought upon to people that work. That’s not right,” added Carlos Hidalgo.
According to SF Gate, apart from the Nike clearance store and car dealership showroom a nearby Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, See’s Candies, Subway and Designer Shoe Warehouse were also looted on Sunday night.