Looters ransacked and destroyed stores in Santa Monica and Long Beach on Sunday.
The scope of the unrest parked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has stretched police resources and in some cases looters were left to their own devices, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Looting on Sunday generally took place a few blocks from the main bodies of mostly peaceful protesters where police have concentrated their resources.
On Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue, police used smoke grenades and fired rubber bullets at protesters who threw eggs and water bottles at them.
A few blocks away on Fourth Street, looters smashed store windows and loaded goods into cars. Some cleared out a Vans store. Several bikes were stolen from a nearby REI store.
The owner of a bookstore on Santa Monica Boulevard, Russell Bowman, said that looters smashed his store’s windows and couldn’t believe the police weren’t helping.
“The looters broke the window in my face,” he said. “There was nothing we could do.”
Santa Monica police said on Sunday that the National Guard was stationing soldiers in the city and announced a 4 p.m. curfew. There is also a 6 p.m. countywide curfew in place.
A similar dynamic was at play in downtown Long Beach, according to the Times.
In some cases, protesters have stopped and tried to stop people from smashing stores and stealing goods. A man trying to stop people breaking into a G by Guess store in Long Beach was fought off by others. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch