The Chicago City’s latest robbery was “organized criminal activity,” with people planning ahead enough to bring vans and U-Haul equipment to help them defraud stores, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Hundreds of robbers – described by officials as full-fledged “caravans of cars” – who stormed into Chicago, Gold Coast and Irving North on Sunday night were part of a “planned attack” on Monday night. said Lightfoot for TIME in an interview he published Wednesday.
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“When people showed up on Michigan Avenue in the downtown area with U-Haul trucks and freight vans, and sophisticated equipment used to cut metal, and the methods used, and how quickly they collapsed,”; Lightfoot said of the exit. in shop. “This was not a spontaneous reaction.”
More than 100 people have been arrested so far as a result of the robbery crackdown. Police said at a news conference Monday that officials believe the events were prompted by an attack involving police in Englewood earlier in the day.
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At the shooting scene in Englewood, “the temples were set on fire by misinformation and returned in the afternoon,” said Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown at the time. False information included that a child had been shot, and that the injured man was on the ground when police shot at him, according to numerous previous reports.
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Police later uncovered social media posts encouraging looting downtown, officials said Monday.
“To be sure, there are people who joined this that were motivated for many different reasons, and were certainly motivated by social media posts that encouraged people to come downtown,” Lightfoot told TIME. “But the essence of what happened – this is organized criminal activity … It was a planned attack.”
Earlier this week, a U-Haul spokesman told Fox News that the company’s equipment was designed and intended for people to use during residential movements. The company is now working with the authorities.
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“Customers who use our equipment are expected [to] obey local, state, and federal laws. Violationdo violation of these laws is also a violation of the client contract and our policies, “the spokesman said in an email.” U-Haul employs a strong investigative unit that works closely with law enforcement to see that persons involved in the activity “Crimes involving our equipment are apprehended and brought to justice.”