San Francisco, CA – The mayor of San Francisco’s solution to the flash-mob style looting of several high-end retailers in the Bay Area last weekend was to announce the shutdown of streets around the city’s Union Square shopping district.
“We’re going to be making some changes to Union Square and how cars are able to access,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced at a joint press conference with San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott on Saturday, KRON reported.
“There will be limited access in terms of when you come to this area,” Breed continued.
The mayor did not outline which streets the city planned to shut down, nor did she reveal any timeline for the implementation of the changes, KRON reported.
“We will flood this area with police officers for the foreseeable future,” Chief Scott said.
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) said it began responding to reports of vandalism and looting at 12 Union Square businesses at about 8:10 p.m. on Nov. 19, SFGate reported.
SFPD said thieves smashed windows and left shattered piles of glass all over sidewalks as they trashed and looted Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Bloomingdale’s, Yves Saint Laurent, and several other high-end retail shops.
The police chief said he was on board with the mayor’s plan to restrict access to the streets around Union Square just as the height of the holiday shopping season began, SFGate reported.
“We have to make it difficult for people do to what they did last night,” Chief Scott said. “Pull up right next to a business, shatter the windows, wipe out everything they can carry, get right in their cars parked at the curb and leave.”
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Other cities in the Bay Area were also targets of opportunity for the looters over the weekend, FOX News reported.
The Oakland police chief said at least two dozen businesses were ransacked in that city, just 12 miles from the site of the looting in San Francisco.
And in the San Francisco suburb of Walnut Creek, about 80 people wearing ski masks and carrying crowbars and other weapons blocked the street in front of Nordstrom with cars on Saturday night and then stormed the department store for a mass looting.
“Three people are under arrest today following an organized theft at the Broadway Plaza Nordstrom in Walnut Creek last night. Police are investigating what was clearly a planned event, with the initial calls coming into the department about cars driving recklessly in the area shortly before 9:00 p.m.,” Walnut Creek police said in a statement released on Sunday.
Witnesses described a chaotic and frightening scene at the Broadway Plaza department store, NBC News reported.
A spokesperson for the Walnut Creek police said that two Nordstrom employees were punched and kicked by the looters, and a third worker was pepper-sprayed.