• LB Strong

Lake Bluff Police Warn of Looting

The Village of Lake Bluff issued an alert to residents on May 31 as looting reports raced through social media as thousands of people in Chicago and the suburbs protested the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Lake Bluff alert read:

There are confirmed reports of looting in suburban Chicagoland. Police in our area are working together to keep our community safe. Do your part and take reasonable precautions. If you feel you are in danger or if you witness a crime taking place, call 911.

The next morning, June 1, the Lake County Sheriff's Office informed residents via social media that looting did indeed take place. Here is the text of that post:

Overnight Looting in Lake County "Yesterday, peaceful marches and protests initially took place throughout Lake County. Unfortunately, following the peaceful protests there was a transition to looting and rioting during the evening and overnight hours. Dozens of sheriff’s deputies responded to Waukegan to assist Waukegan Police Officers with hundreds of looters. Numerous businesses were looted and a large amount of property was damaged. Businesses in Beach Park were also burglarized. Five Lake County Sheriff’s Squads sustained significant damage from individuals who intentionally damaged the cars. Sheriff’s deputies assisted in multiple arrests in Waukegan. Fortunately, no sheriff’s deputies were injured. The members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will continue increased countywide patrols to protect the safety of our residents and businesses. The sheriff’s office will continue working closely with our local and regional law-enforcement partners. “I am beyond grateful for the men and women of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and all of our area law-enforcement personnel who are working diligently to keep the community safe. We will remain steadfast in our efforts to protect the people and property of Lake County,” said Sheriff John Idleburg.

Also on June 1, Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim issued a statement regarding recent civil unrest and property damage/looting in Lake County:

"As I indicated in my original statement last week, I strongly condemn the actions of the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and any acts of police brutality anywhere. My heart continues to go out to family of Mr. Floyd for their loss.

"While I fully support people’s right to peacefully protest and demonstrate, acts of violence in Lake County will not be tolerated. Overnight, there were several businesses in Waukegan and Lake County looted and damaged, and several police vehicles vandalized. "During this destruction, several people were arrested and charged with felonies that include burglary, looting and criminal damage to property. I want to make it well known that the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office will aggressively prosecute these offenders and anyone in the future who continues along this destructive path that threatens the safety of the people, law enforcement, or businesses of Lake County. Protests are designed to bring about change, but criminal conduct like this deflects attention from these important conversations and positive changes.

Let me be clear: I fully support the constitutional right of people to peacefully protest. However, we will enforce the law. I join the people of Lake County in calling for peace."