Compton Sheriff’s seek public help
Sheriff’s deputies in Compton returned to patrol duties on Monday while the department urged the public to help identify those persons involved in a number of street takeovers that eventually led to a mob of looters that left a trail of destruction at local stores.
Video captured a wild scene at an Arco gas station near Alondra Boulevard and Central Avenue early April 16 where a large group was caught on video bum-rushing an Arco gas station and stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise, all while the clerk on duty hid inside.
The video shows one man breaking the glass door while dozens of looters crowd behind him. Moments later, the group was seen grabbing everything from drinks, snacks, alcohol and even condoms.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told Eyewitness News thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise was stolen and serious damage was done to the store.
“It’s unbelievable. Unreal. I’ve never seen anything like that happen here,” said Greg Johnson, a Compton resident who frequents the Arco gas station.
Investigators said shots were fired about a block away from the store raid though no injuries were reported. Meanwhile, staff at the gas station told ABC7 the clerk who hid in the bathroom is doing okay.
Deputies with LASD’s Compton station had been responding to several illegal street takeovers earlier in the night, LASD said.
Investigators said the two largest takeovers took place at the intersections of Long Beach Boulevard and Rosecrans Avenue and near the gas station looting incident.
Both incidents involved illegal street racers with up to 500 people involved, investigators said. LASD said the two incidents both ended with break-ins and vandalism, including a break-in at a laundromat.
Though Compton station deputies had been responding to various incidents through the night, LASD said they are “currently limited with their staffed personnel” and “couldn’t intervene with the giant takeover groups for safety concerns” and because they were “outnumbered.”
One person was detained, but no arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, Compton residents fear it’ll happen again.
“The people who did this, I don’t think they are Compton residents,” said Kevin Evans. “We don’t tear up our own city like this.”
Compton City Councilmember Jonathan Bowers also blamed outsiders for the looting and vandalism but said the city needs to do more to stop the illegal and dangerous street takeovers.
“I am totally disgusted,” he said. “I’m just upside down behind this. These kids coming into our city and just destroying it like this. In my opinion, the city has not done enough to quell this issue. There are other alternatives and ways to deal with this and I feel like we put it on the back burner and we’re dragging our feet as this thing is getting worse.”