'Outnumbered' Deputies Powerless as Street Mob Turns to Violent Looting


A series of stores in Compton, California, were overrun by looters over the weekend, and deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department declined to intervene because they were “outnumbered.”

KABC-TV in Los Angeles reported a number of stores were overrun Saturday night and into Sunday morning by mobs of people.

One laundromat was also struck by either the same group or a similar one. A now-viral video posted on Twitter showed the moment one Arco gas station in the city was completely overrun by people who stole everything they could get their hands on.

One man in the video is scene grabbing condoms while another man off camera repeatedly yelled at those inside to steal the store’s cigarettes.

Other looters in the clip stole alcohol, food and other items.

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WARNING: The following video contains language some viewers might find offensive.

The store’s clerk reportedly hid in the bathroom during the looting of the store, which is located near the intersection of Alondra Boulevard and Central Avenue.

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According to LASD deputies, the cost of the merchandise which was taken from the Arco station was in the thousands of dollars.

Up to 500 people swarmed the store after they reportedly smashed a glass door. When asked why deputies did not intervene to stop the looting, a representative of the sheriff’s department cited a lack of manpower.

The Compton outpost was said to have been “currently limited with their staffed personnel” and “couldn’t intervene with the giant takeover groups for safety concerns,” the department said.

The LASD also said it was “outnumbered.”

Gunfire was heard in the area of the Arco station that was swarmed, but no injuries were reported.

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The sheriff’s department said it is believed the mob of people was connected to a group that was street racing nearby.

No arrests have been made.

Compton is a city of just under 100,000 people located in south central L.A. County, but it does not have its own police department.

The Compton City Council voted in the year 2000 to disband the city’s police force amid a surge in violent crime, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The city contracted the sheriff’s office to police its streets after civic leaders came to an almost unaminous agreement the LASD was better equipped to handle gang violence.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.