St. Paul Asks Public’s Help in Identifying Looters 6 Weeks After Riot
St. Paul police want to know who looted the upscale store Lululemon during the riots following the death of George Floyd.
The police department just posted an online wanted notice of sorts with surveillance video and freeze frame photos of the suspects this week in a plea for the public’s assistance in tracking down the culprits.
The baseball bat shattered the store’s front door at about 11:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 28. Soon after, dozens of people stepped, stumbled, crashed and crawled their way through the door and over shards of glass. Then they ransacked the place for whatever they could carry.
Now investigators with the Saint Paul Police Department want to know: Who looted Lululemon?
Yet besides asking who did it, another question comes to mind. Why did the city of St. Paul wait for a month and a half after the fact to reach out to the public given the available video footage?
No doubt the prolonged investigation underscores the challenges authorities face in identifying vandals who use crowds and chaos to help cover their crimes. Authorities say progress has been slow, even with video evidence of the perpetrators walking out with merchandise in hand.
The store located at 870 Grand Avenue was one of many hit by criminal activity after protests in the streets turned into rioting. Since then, investigators with the police department, ATF, FBI, DEA and other law enforcement agencies have been gathering evidence and looking for suspects in cases of arson, burglary, theft and criminal damage to property across the city. It’s been a painstaking process. Several arrests have been made and charges have been filed–including against a 24-year-old woman from Saint Paul who police say stole thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from Lululemon.
However, many suspects have yet to be identified, so the police department is asking for the public’s help.
It helped that the 24-year old suspect facing a felony burglary charge wasn’t wearing a protective mask and was allegedly attempting to sell the merchandise online, according to the Pioneer Press.
While others seen in photos and surveillance video from Lululemon were wearing masks, the woman was not and police identified her by a tattoo visible on her neck and upper part of her chest. Police found her selling Lululemon clothing online under the pseudonym “LilBaby Snow,” according to a criminal complaint.
Police stopped the woman and a man in a sport-utility vehicle and found several items of Lululemon clothing with security tags still attached. During a search warrant, more than 100 items of Lululemon clothing were found in the man’s bedroom; many still had security tags and were on hangers unique to the Grand Avenue store, the complaint said.
Let’s hope St. Paul authorities move faster than Gov. Tim Walz’s Department of Public Safety, which took a month to investigate the perpetrators who razed the Christopher Columbus statue at the State Capitol in full view of television cameras. No charges have been filed by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office against three individuals identified in the incident as of this writing.