The Arlington Police Department is investigating multiple incidents of burglary and criminal mischief that occurred yesterday evening and night across various portions of the city.
Officials say a peaceful demonstration began at the Center Street bridge over Interstate 20 yesterday afternoon around 4:00PM. Multiple officers shut down the area in an effort to give the protesters a safe demonstration location.
After the protest at Center Street ended, a second demonstration occurred at Arlington’s City Hall and Police Station, located at the intersection of Cooper Street and Division Street. A handful of agitators from the second demonstration burned flags in front of the police station, damaged windows outside the building, and defaced a star in front of the station.
The group of protesters and agitators, which included several dozen vehicles, continued towards AT&T Stadium. When the group arrived at the Walmart store located across from AT&T Stadium, several people began to break into the store, which had already closed for the night. APD was quick to respond and arrested four people for breaking into the building. Others ran away.
The Arlington Police Department Special Response Team established themselves in front of the Walmart store to protect the agitators from further looting the building.
After the break-in at the Walmart, a small group of agitators left and drove to the Arlington Parks Mall and Arlington Highlands. Officers were able to surge both locations and prevent further looting from these areas.
Over the course of the next hour, the group drove around erratically through several streets, damaging buildings and breaking windows. Several stores, including the Arlington Jewelry Exchange, Jared’s Jewelry, Walmart Supercenter (S. Cooper Street), Which Wich (Highlands), First Cash Pawn, suffered glass damaged or were burglarized by the group.
There were two additional arrests for the burglaries.
Detectives are also working to identify the numerous drivers who evaded police and drove recklessly throughout the city while these demonstrations took place.