La Mesa police seek tips on looters who damaged buildings in protest

Local

A man looks on as a bank burns after a protest over the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, in La Mesa, Calif. Protests were held in U.S. cities over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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LA MESA (CNS) – The La Mesa Police Department announced Friday it has created a tip line seeking information on individuals involved in looting and vandalism that damaged numerous buildings in La Mesa following a protest against police brutality last weekend.

A statement released Friday morning said the police department and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office “will be aggressively pursuing the arrest and prosecution of any individuals found to have committed crimes” on May 30.

That day, a crowd gathered in front of the La Mesa Police Department around 2:30 p.m. to protest the May 27 arrest of a man at the Grossmont Transit Center, as well as the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

A portion of the group then marched onto Interstate 8 at Baltimore Drive, blocking traffic in both directions for hours.

Around 6 p.m., protesters remaining in front of the La Mesa Police Department threw rocks and water bottles at an armored police car nearby, and police deployed tear gas, pepper balls and bean bag rounds in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

Later in the evening, the La Mesa Springs Vons market — closed at 8 p.m. — was looted. Nearby businesses were looted as well, including the Grossmont Center Walmart as well as several businesses in the La Mesa Springs Shopping Center.

After 11 p.m., two banks — a Chase branch and a Union Bank branch — were engulfed in flames on Spring Street and both burned to the ground.

Anyone with information, including videos and photos, regarding potential crimes committed on May 30 is asked to contact the tip line by phone at 619-667-7532 or by email at lamesatips@cityoflamesa.us.

Tipsters can remain anonymous and may also contact Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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