SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) — In one of the cities hardest hit by civil unrest, looting and destruction, a San Leandro car dealership was taking stock Monday of the damage and loss from looters, including the theft of dozen of new cars.
Carlos Hidalgo, owner of the Dodge dealership on in San Leandro said he saw it coming. Looters across the street at a Nike store had ransacked the place and were starting to cross Marina Blvd. heading toward the dealership. Hidalgo told his employees to maneuver the new cars and use them to block the driveways, and get out.
Video posted to social media shows the moment looters were stealing brand new cars and driving them off the lot, some of them stopping to burnout the tires on the way out
Hidalgo said the crooks broke into the building and gained access to the key safe and likely triggered the car alarms to guide to them to the corresponding vehicle.
“Right now we’re thinking 50 [vehicles] … Gone,” said Hidalgo. “We have trackers on them so we’re seeing which ones are out there. They’re running around everywhere.”
Empty parking space on the lot each represented a stolen car. Thieves took nearly every high-end $100,000 Dodge Challenger Hellcats. One that was placed in the driveway to block cars was rammed out of the way. Another one on the showroom floor was driven right out the front window.
“We tried calling the cops and they were too busy,” said Hidalgo. “They couldn’t respond. So, you know …”
Across the street, the parking lot of the Nike Clearance Store was filled with looters arriving in their cars.
The damage to the store gives a hint of the tsunami of violence and criminal activity that overcame the city of San Leandro, with much of it centered at Bayfair Mall. In broad daylight, dozens, if not hundreds, of looters were captured on video running out with armloads of merchandise.
Nearby See’s Candy was emptied out, as was a Subway sandwich store. Glass was broken at a Dollar Store but it escaped much of the destruction and looting.
Sunrise Monday saw stragglers return to the affected areas with garbage bags to pick up leftovers.
“This happens every time somebody gets injured,” said resident Dan Lamont. “People think it’s a good excuse to go out and get free tvs and garbage and unleash whatever anger they got for everything else.”
Another resident who went just by her first name came down Monday to help clean up at Bayfair Mall after seeing the destruction from the looters.
“When I woke up this morning. I just said, ‘What can I do for my community?’” said Gloria.
Hidalgo said the theft and destruction also hurt the 100 people he employs, who have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s not a cause for anybody. This is just bad thieves. It’s horrible,” said Hidalgo. “This is domestic terrorism brought upon to people that work. That’s not right.”