OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Police say many smash-and-grab thefts that coincided with protests have been carried out by caravans of well-coordinated criminals capitalizing on chaos.
They use social media to communicate with each other and do things to distract and throw police off their trail.
The wave of crime that has followed largely peaceful demonstrations, and law enforcement experts note that it has happened in big and small cities and in rural areas.
Thieves often target high-end shops as officers are assigned to prevent protests from becoming unruly and enforce curfews.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, a band of thieves stole nearly 75 vehicles from a dealership.