EMERYVILLE (CBS SF) — A roving gang of looters targeted the GameStop and Best Buy stores in Emeryville late Wednesday night, shattering windows, ransacking shelves before fleeing with an unknown amount of merchandise.

Emeryville police said that shortly after midnight a large caravan of 25-30 vehicles arrived at the Best Buy on the Oakland-Emeryville border.

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Several people exited the vehicles and tried to enter the locked business by force. After smashing the front windows, they were thwarted in their efforts by metal roll-up style gates installed following looting last year during a night of unrest related to George Floyd’s murder.

Oakland police also responded to the scene, but the looters had fled before the officers arrived.

The looters then turned their attention to the Game Stop retail store located at 3980 Hollis St. in Emeryville a short distance away.

Numerous people once again exited the vehicles, smashed out the glass, and pried open the interior barrier doors to enter the business.

Once inside the business, store merchandise was stolen. The individuals ran back to the vehicles with the stolen merchandise and fled the scene as marked police units began to arrive.

Emeryville police said one suspect — 18-year-old Jose Lujan of Oakland — was taken into custody without incident. The investigation is ongoing, and investigators are currently seeking the identity of all involved.

The looting caravan also swept through Oakland.

At 11:37 p.m., Oakland police officers observed approximately 30 vehicles traveling westbound on San Leandro Street headed towards Fruitvale Avenue.

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Shortly after midnight, officers observed another group of vehicles gathered in the area of 107th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard. The group quickly dispersed when police arrived.

At approximately 1:14 a.m., dispatch received reports of a burglary in progress in the 5800 block of Foothill Boulevard at the Walgreens store. Individuals broke the glass door in an attempt to gain entry but were unsuccessful.

At approximately 2:06 a.m., dispatch received a report of a burglary in progress in the 100 block of 98th Avenue at the Hilti store. It was reported that approximately a dozen individuals entered the store by cutting a hole in the metal roll-up gate and shattering a window. The suspects stole property and then fled the area.

Officers were collecting and reviewing surveillance videos from the crime scenes.If you have any information
related to these crimes, please call the Oakland Police Department’s Burglary Unit at (510) 238-
3951 or Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (510) 777-8572.

Across the East Bay Wednesday, law enforcement agencies were on high alert after social media chatter indicating there may be looting in the wake of the George Floyd murder trial verdict. On Tuesday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges related to Floyd’s death.

On Wednesday afternoon, San Leandro police said the department had received reports of planned looting at the Bayfair Center shopping mall.

“The City of San Leandro and the San Leandro Police Department respects the rights of people to peacefully protest, but the information we have is that criminal activity is being planned,” read a statement on the city’s website. “That information is based on statements made by known actors associated with other recent acts of looting and vandalism. Therefore, we are not taking this matter lightly and are preparing for it.”

“Please prepare to shelter-in-place. We will notify residents of a final decision on this fluid situation,” the statement went on to say. “Please call the San Leandro Police Department to report criminal activity. The safety of every resident is our highest priority. The City of San Leandro continues to protect the ability to peacefully protest while also providing safety to all residents.”

Residents were urged to contact police about any suspicious or threatening activity and to not try to prevent a crime, while businesses and property owners were told to remain vigilant and take steps to safeguard properties and employees.

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The department brought in additional officers to reinforce patrols and had a heavy presence at the Bayfair Center.