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Chicago police still seeking help in arresting suspected looters

So far, there have been 74 felony arrests tied to the “lawlessness” that took place the night of Aug. 9 and into the next morning, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said.

A person walks past a McDonald’s restaurant at 36 W. Randolph St. after looting broke out overnight in the Loop and surrounding neighborhoods, Monday morning, Aug. 10, 2020.
A person walks past a McDonald’s restaurant at 36 W. Randolph St. after looting broke out overnight in the Loop and surrounding neighborhoods, Monday morning, Aug. 10, 2020.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown Tuesday claimed some success with the department’s efforts to find those who ransacked businesses in August but pleaded for continued help from the public to track down more suspected looters.

So far, there have been 74 felony arrests tied to the “lawlessness” that took place the night of Aug. 9 and into the next morning, Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said standing next to Brown at police headquarters, at 35th Street and Michigan Avenue.

Twenty-six vehicles were seized and five firearms were also recovered since the department launched the Looting Task Force following the unrest that mostly affected downtown and other retail shopping districts in other parts of the city.

The 67 “Looting & Civil Unrest Videos” posted on the department’s website and many of the 406 phone calls, emails and other tips have helped lead to arrests, officials said. But Deenihan said, “We still need people to go to the website, watch these videos and contact our detectives.”

Eighty windows and doors can be seen damaged on a surveillance footage compilation detectives put together, Brown said.

“Each window and door that was broken that night left our city wounded,” the top cop said, joined by representatives from The Magnificent Mile Association, the Washington Park Chambers of Commerce and the Greater Chatham Initiative.

After police shot and wounded a man in Englewood on Aug. 9, rumors started circulating on social media, leading to the widespread theft and destruction.

Nedra Sims Fears, executive director of the Greater Chatham Initiative, said the looting and damage in the South Side neighborhood that night has caused a ripple effect.

“We looked at the 55 small, medium and large grocers in our area and we have lost 17 of them — or 30%,” Sims Fears said.

Sims Fears believes two-thirds of those closures were a result of looting and wanted to let people know that “looting is not a victimless crime.”