One man is in custody, but at least three others got away after breaking into Nordstrom, 55 East Grand, early Monday, police said. The incident followed a series of 911 calls from people across the city who reported seeing people in the downtown area on Facebook Live saying they were preparing to loot stores.
Similar warnings from social media viewers preceded a massive wave of looting early on August 10, 2020.
Monday’s break-in came after an evening of unrest in suburban Minneapolis where reports said a man was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop Sunday afternoon. The trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis cop who’s charged with killing George Floyd last year, has also been underway in that city.
In Chicago, tensions are high as residents await the release of CPD bodyworn camera footage from the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Little Village on March 29.
Police in the downtown area responded to a flurry of calls about roving groups of potential looters who were broadcasting their intentions on social media beginning shortly before 1 a.m. Monday.
Callers spotted the group in the Loop, near Trump Tower, and in River North between 12:55 a.m. and 1:20 a.m. An officer found a trash can on fire near Grand and Rush, but the supposed looters were not initially found.
Then, at 1:38 a.m., a witness reported seeing four men break into Nordstrom. The store’s burglar alarms activated moments later, according to dispatch records.
Police said a group of three or four men broke out the store’s glass with a rock or brick and then fled with purses and other merchandise. Cops arrested one man nearby, but the others escaped across the river in a white vehicle, according to officers at the scene. An officer was treated for a cut to her hand.
Within hours, Chicago police announced that Kendrick Adams, 27, is charged with burglary in the Nordstrom break-in.
Chicago police supervisors ordered the temporary shut-down of some streets, including parts of Michigan Avenue and interstate feeder ramps. Officers reported seeing a few groups of people and suspicious vehicles scattered around the Mag Mile area after the break-in, but no further incidents were reported. All roads were re-opened by sunrise.
A handful of stores in other parts of the city were also broken into overnight, according to online reports and photojournalist Christoper Smith.
#BREAKING – The Citi Trends store at 47th & Halsted was the target of overnight looting. Police in this area are also giving special attention to shopping centers. Now on @CapturedNews #Chicago pic.twitter.com/XEwgZLDI8r— Christopher Smith (@chrissmith) April 12, 2021
Authorities have worked to create effective anti-looting plans since a night of social media-fueled burglaries, and street clashes decimated the downtown area on August 10.
The city has carried out multiple dry runs of their plans, most recently on March 31 — just hours after Chicago police identified Adam Toledo’s body.
On Saturday, a Cook County prosecutor provided a version of what the police body-worn camera footage shows in the Toledo shooting during a bond hearing for the man who allegedly fired shots and then gave the teen the gun to run away with.
But, the courtroom presentation was designed only to support the state’s charges in the case at hand, not to be an exhaustive detailing of the footage, a legal expert warned.
Leaked images from the camera footage and the shooting scene “raise significant questions that are not answered” by the prosecutor’s proffer, he said.
Toledo’s family is expected to review the camera footage this week, and the city will release it to the public sometime after that. A high-ranking CPD officer told his units in an email that the video would be released last Friday but that the date was “subject to change.” Over the weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the boy’s mother would view the video early this week, according to NBC Chicago.