CHICAGO - Following mass looting in Chicago the other night, police have announced the arrest of two men in a large rental truck carrying what they called burglary tools.
Felony charges have now been filed against two dozen defendants arrested during this week's looting downtown. Some were released Tuesday as judges set relatively low, pre-trial release bonds.
A few hours after Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke of criminal gangs leading Sunday night's looting of downtown, Chicago police revealed the arrest of two men driving a rental truck carrying sophisticated burglary tools.
“This box truck was consistent with intelligence that looters were using box trucks to haul proceeds from burglaries and looting throughout the city,” said CPD Commander Matthew Cline.
The arrest late Monday night at Clark and Grand led to weapons charges against two men found in illegal possession of firearms.
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said her office has charged 24 felony defendants linked to the looting with offenses, including burglary, aggravated battery of a police officer, criminal damage to property and unlawful use of a weapon.
Foxx said Chicago police requested one additional person be charged with a felony, but that was not done.
In an unusual telephone news conference, Mayor Lightfoot talked of those who organized Sunday night's looting.
“What we also know is that this was an organized effort. It's not opportunistic or spontaneous when you already have U-Haul vans and you come equipped with precision tools to break into stores, to break into safes, to haul off cash registers,” Lightfoot said. “This was also organized crime. And we are going to break these crews and these rings. And we are going to bring them to justice.”
Detectives and prosecutors continue to review hundreds of hours of videotape, many with clear images of the leaders of this week's looting. They promise more arrests are coming.