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South Bay Police Head Off Threatened Looting at Valley Fair

Image by Larry Sacks

After nights of rioting and looting across the U.S., South Bay police are mobilized for similar looting attempts locally.

Police around the country have been dealing with the looting that is happening during local protests over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

South Bay police agencies surrounded Westfield Valley Fair Mall Sunday night, following what Santa Clara police called “credible threats” of looting and violence at the mall, which sits on the border of Santa Clara and San José. Both Santa Clara and San José police were in the scene, as was the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department.


Police in riot gear blocked all entrances to the mall. There were no substantiated reports of looting or vandalism. Some residents reported hearing firecrackers in the area.

“There was chatter on social media about looting the mall tonight,” Assistant Santa Clara Police Chief Dan Winter said in a text message. “We are there to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

It appeared that police mobilized at Valley Fair Sunday around 7 p.m. — the time residents in the area began hearing police sirens and helicopters overhead. Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor issued a statement 7:24 p.m. about Floyd’s murder and local protests, but made no mention of the police action.

At 8:35 p.m. City Manager Deanna Santana issued a statement declaring a state of emergency and announcing an 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

“Both Westfield Valley Fair and Santana Row…have been identified as locations of potential interest for protests and raids,” Santana said in her statement. “There is already credible activity in the area.” There was no push alert to residents of the police action or the curfew.

Santa Clara joined other Bay Area cities imposing curfews Sunday, including San José, San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Danville.


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