Nine people investigators say took part in an organized and systematic looting spree through downtown Walnut Creek earlier this year have been charged by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.
Hundreds of people, including some police maintain are part of mobile, organized gangs who travel the state to pull off swarming, “blitz-style” shoplifting raids on retail outlets, arrived in the city May 31 and battered their way into dozens of local businesses, carrying off armloads of goods.
One woman was shot during the rampage, suffering an arm wound, and a curfew was imposed later in the day. Officials put the loss in damage done to businesses and goods stolen at between $3 and $4 million.
The incident, which stunned a city and residents already reeling from the onset of COVID-19 and national protests following the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, left merchants and citizens angry.
The nine – eight of whom are women – were subsequently identified as police launched an investigation into the spree. Additional suspects are still being sought, driven by surveillance video capturing segments of the incident and information shared with other cities, agencies victimized by the roving crews of shoplifters.
The case was presented to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office last month with felony charges of “burglary during a state of emergency” filed against seven suspects who allegedly looted the large Macy’s store in downtown Walnut Creek, and an eighth who looted a Victoria’s Secret store.
A misdemeanor charge of burglary during a state of emergency was also filed against one suspect who allegedly looted a Site for Sore Eyes location.
The “state of emergency” condition stems from the March 4 emergency declaration by Gov. Gavin Newsom relating to the burgeoning pandemic.
Those facing charges include: Yanai Tadesse, 20, of Oakland; Lashanda Breedlove, 38, of Oakland; Alayshia Cheatham, 21, of Elk Grove; Msshaniequa George, 30, of Lemoore; Labria Ardoin, 26, of Antioch; Jaqueline Currington, 29, from Richmond; and Kaytiana Pennington, 20, Aljonique Mitchell, 26, and Kiannis Woods, 19, all from San Leandro.
The police seemed scared and seemed to deliberately take their time to secure Broadway Plaza, only a few blocks from police headquarters.
If I recall, when finally dispatched, they slowly marched down Main Street in unison. Didn’t drive, trot, or run.
They seemed to allow shoplifters to steal and ransack as they watched in a slowly moving group.
And how the heck does stolen lingerie, clothing & broken windows end up costing $4 – $5 Million?
I read 3 and 4 million — which is still a lot but you know: insurance.
Damned if they do, damned if they don’t…
Just picking up a few things before we head home.
Throw the book at them. Put them away for a long time. They are just hard core criminals that are doing their best to ruin this state.
So the (interim) police chief decided they weren’t being “baited into reacting” and officers could actually do their jobs and identify criminals?
Believe this investigation was probably initiated by the departing chief and has probably been an ongoing “work in progress.”
Feeling the pressure from the public might also be part of this…
They’re lucky this isn’t China.
So is Interim Police Chief Jay Hill sympathetic to Hooligans, politically shackled, afraid or dim? He even had extra staffing in place, and undercover watching – from across the street?? What?
The Creek used to be crime free. No more. Four, five shootings this year? Hooligans already took control of our city a few months ago, so you decided to let them have another bite at the apple?
Please, explain that logic to me. And the scuttle butt I’ve heard is that the PC politicians are searching for an African American police chief, political posturing apparently being their primary concern.
Dear Editors: I wouldn’t “conflate” the incidents, I would say its a continuum. The dye is set.
Fair enough but we would offer that the “watch” for one ended in October.
Citizens I know have seen thousands of protests, and thousands that are violent. Planned, orchestrated violence. Violence & theft against people & property.
These appear to be driven by Antifa, anarchists, & BLM, with Opportunists mixed in. I don’t know the exact percentage, but whether 10% or 20% turn violent, that’s a high number. This ain’t MADD rioting & blocking freeways.
I guess the site for sore eyes perp didn’t get the memo.
Definitely not our best days.
I hope one other result of this investigation is to show factually that these criminal activities are in fact perpetrated by criminals and not ‘protesters’. The bad apples of vandals, opportunistic looters and the professional criminals infiltrating protest events are to blame and need to be understood to be separate from and not connected in any way to the majority of citizens exercising their right to protest. In the same way that lawful gun owners don’t appreciate being linked to those individuals who commit mass shootings we need to respect the separation from and condemnation of the unlawful from the lawful when it comes to all of our rights.
If they could come up with a legitimate business and organize that many people as well as they do to rip other people off they would probably do pretty well and would not have to worry about getting thrown in jail – or getting shot.
Another byproduct of the Four Year Detour – demoralized and confused police, an ever-angry citizenry, and thieves with nothing to lose. It will be interesting to see if we are able to get our mojo back before we drive off the cliff.
An amazing 4 years:
1. 4 Mideast Peace deals, the first in 24 years.
2. 3.5% unemployment (pre Covid)
3. Lowest black, female, Hispanic, and Asian unemployment rates ever recorded.
4. 700,000 new manufacturing jobs.
5. Steel reborn.
6. Energy boom.
7. No new wars!
8. New USMCA trade deal.
9. China out in check.
10. Much more.
I’m glad someone paid attention and wasn’t brainwashed by the mainstream media!
All those overpriced handbags –