Looters in NYC were ‘dropped off in luxury cars with power tools and suitcases before being picked up and driven to next location’, eyewitnesses tell police as officials around the US blame ‘organized crime’ for the chaos
- NYPD are said to be looking into numerous reports the rioters were organized
- They are now checking license plate numbers of cars that dropped groups off
- ‘Cars would drive up, let off the looters, unload power tools’, one witness said
- Another said: ‘This is organized crime happening really, really well’
- Local leaders and business owners in Washington, California and Chicago have also suggested the looters were part of organized crime rings
- Protests were largely peaceful Tuesday and the nation’s streets were calmer than they have been in days since the killing of George Floyd
Looters in New York City were dropped off in luxury cars with power tools and suitcases before being picked up and driven to next location, according to eyewitnesses.
Police are said to be looking into numerous reports the rioters were organized and are now checking license plate numbers of vehicles that dropped groups off.
One witness, Carla Murphy, who lives in Manhattan, told ABC: ‘Cars would drive up, let off the looters, unload power tools and suitcases and then the cars would drive away.’
Protests were largely peaceful Tuesday and the nation’s streets were calmer than they have been in days since the killing of George Floyd set off sometimes violent demonstrations against police brutality and injustice against African Americans.
But NYPD are still said to be investigating claims those who looted stores were driven to and from spots in Manhattan.
Murphy added: ‘Then the cars would come back pick them up and then drive off to the next spot. They seemed to know exactly where they were going.
‘Some of the people were local, but there were a lot of out-of-towners.’
Local leaders and business owners in Washington, California and Chicago have also suggested the looters were part of organized crime rings there.
Rioters flee the scene in a car after looting a store in Manhattan on Tuesday
A trunk full of Nike trainers after looters raided a Foot Locker store in New York City Momday
Videos from New York City, pictured, Kansas City, Dallas and Fayetteville in North Carolina all appear to show piles of bricks unattended in the middle of protests
Protesters loot a NY Yankee store during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd
Another eyewitness, Jarrod Jordan, told The New York Post: ‘This is a real business. This isn’t angry protesters in any way shape or form. This is organized crime happening really, really well.’
Jordan says he has witnessed Bentleys and Mercedes arriving on the scene to scout out areas to target; the return later with tools and people to loot.
He added: ‘When the looters looted, they filled up the cars and the cars drove so the looters have their hands free to go on to the next place. The looters are just a bunch of young kids recruited to do the boss’ work.’
An NBC producer filmed men pulling up luxury cars before they appeared to ransack stores in Manhattan during a fifth night of rioting after the killing of George Floyd.
Keith Feldman posted a video on Twitter of men getting out of expensive cars, one of which was claimed to be a $500,000 Rolls Royce.
They were then seen running through the smashed-in door of a store in Soho – where outlets have been plundered of designer goods in recent days – and emerging with armfuls of products.
The thefts took place despite an 8pm curfew which was in place in Manhattan.
Feldman wrote above his Tweet: ‘Looters are literally pulling up in nice cars and cleaning out stores in #Soho. What #Curfew?’
Another user then retweeted his video and said: ‘That’s a $500,000 Rolls Royce on the right, incredible.’
George Floyd (left) was accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store after he was laid off in the pandemic. Disturbing video showed him prone on the street, while a white police officer (Derek Chauvin, right) pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck even as he cried he couldn’t breathe
Local leaders in Washington, California and Chicago have also suggested the looters were part of organized crime rings.
Bellevue’s Police Chief Steve Mylett said Monday: ‘There are groups paying these looters money to come in and they’re getting paid by the broken window.’
In Santa Monica, California,restaurant owner Jeffrey Merrihue, told CBS: ‘They were very well organized, they came with duffel bags, SUVs.
‘They went from shop to shop. They went in, cleared out with full duffel bags, another SUV would pull up. It was very impressive actually, to be honest.’
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the looting there was ‘organized and choreographed’.
Keith Feldman posted a video on Twitter of men getting out of expensive cars, one of which was claimed to be a $500,000 Rolls Royce
In the video, two men in hooded tops and masks are seen getting out of a luxury SUV in front of the Rolls Royce, which has its door open
An NBC producer filmed men pulling up luxury cars before they appeared to ransack stores in Manhattan during a fifth night of rioting after the killing of George Floyd
Looters ran over a New York Police Department officer in Greenwich Village trying to stop them driving away after robbing a store
And pallets of bricks have also ‘randomly’ appeared during protests across the US this weekend, sparking theories they were planted to stoke violence.
Those taking part in demonstrations against police brutality and the death of black man George Floyd have reported finding large stashes of the makeshift weapons on streets.
Videos from New York City, Kansas City, Dallas and Fayetteville in North Carolina all appear to show piles of bricks unattended in the middle of protests.
The footage has led to suggestions the slabs were either planted by police or by extremists to overshadow peaceful protests over the death of Floyd, a black man who pleaded for air as white police officer Derek Chauvin pressed a knee into his neck for almost nine minutes.
‘Looks like a set up to me,’ tweeted protest supporter ICE T, who has often spoken out against police brutality. ‘There’s ALWAYS more than meets the eye,’ he continued.
In Dallas, Instagram user RuebenGotSoul documented a large pile of bricks stacked up in front of the city’s courthouse. ‘The Dallas protest was a lot of things. But I was very disappointed to see this RANDOM stack of bricks in front of the courthouse. #setup,’ he remarked
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Monday ‘there is evidence of an organization at times behind some of these activities’.
And US Officials had already said they were investigating whether extremist groups have infiltrated police brutality protests.
Authorities are said to be looking into whether these groups deliberately tipped the demonstrations towards violence after chaos erupted in dozens of American cities this weekend.
John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, said the NYPD has a ‘high degree of confidence anarchist groups planned violent interactions and vandalism’.
‘Complex network of scouts were in place to direct breakaway groups to commit vandalism with rocks and accelerants,’ he said.
As demonstrations spread from Minneapolis to the White House, New York City and overseas, federal law enforcement officials insisted far-left groups were stoking violence.
Meanwhile, experts who track extremist groups also reported seeing evidence of the far-right at work.
Investigators were also tracking online interference and looking into whether foreign agents were behind the effort.
Officials have seen a surge of social media accounts with fewer than 200 followers created in the last month, a textbook sign of a disinformation effort.
The investigations are an attempt to identify the network of forces behind some of the most widespread outbreak of civil unrest in the U.S. in decades.
Looters broke into Zara near the World Trade Center, Nordstrom Rack on 6th Avenue, fought with Guardian Angels at Foot Locker in the East Village and stores were also targeted in Soho again.
People are arrested for looting in New York City last night as police swooped on people who broke the city’s curfew
A man could be seen running out of Paul & Shark clutching piles of clothing. Smashed glass covered the floor after the storefront was smashed
Looters were seen piling into a Coach store in Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on the seventh night of unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd
An earlier curfew and efforts by protesters to contain the violence prevented more widespread damage to businesses in New York City overnight. As of Wednesday morning, arrests grew to more than 9,000 nationwide since the unrest began in response to Floyd’s death May 25 in Minneapolis.
There was a marked quiet compared with the unrest of the past few nights, which included fires and shootings in some cities. Many cities intensified their curfews, with authorities in Washington also ordering people off streets before sundown.
Protests began after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck while the handcuffed black man called out that he couldn’t breathe. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been fired and charged with murder.
Trump, meanwhile, amplified his hard-line calls from Monday, when he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn’t do it.
‘NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,’ he tweeted. ‘The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast!’
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