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Downers Grove Best Buy looted; property damage in Berwyn along Cermak Road

A Best Buy in Downers Grove was looted Sunday afternoon when a large group of people entered the store, stole merchandise and damaged the property, Downers Grove police said.

Approximately 50 people entered the Best Buy at 1432 Butterfield Road Sunday afternoon.

No injuries were reported. The incident remains under investigation.

"The damage was quite extensive," said Downers Grove police spokesman Bill Budds.

Budds said that police took the call at 3:02 p.m. The extent of the store damage was uncertain, but front windows and side windows were smashed. Employees in the building at the time of the incident left the store through the rear doors once they saw the crowd of people.

Budds confirmed estimates of close to 50 suspects from up to 30 cars.

The Downers Grove police sent out an alert later Sunday urging residents to remain in their homes and businesses to close early. Police increased patrols throughout the business areas of the village.

Budds said police have scheduled adjustments to provide increased patrol presence on Monday.

"We're monitoring social medial, coordinating with our partners in other jurisdictions," Budds said. "We are all in this together to provide extra protection to residents and businesses."

In Berwyn, a curfew was enacted from 8 p.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday after "some active participants" targeting retail establishments in North Riverside for looting made their way into Berwyn and damaged property along Cermak Road, Berwyn police said.

Earlier Sunday afternoon Berwyn police provided security in a peaceful demonstration that included eight minutes of silence at the Metra train station on Oak Park and Stanley avenues, which occurred with no incident.

Later Sunday, Berwyn police were called by North Riverside for assistance as several large groups began targeting retail establishments for criminal damage and looting, according to Berwyn police.

The Cermak Plaza was shut down and secured, and all employees and customers of Berwyn businesses were escorted out before any vandalism or unrest took place, Berwyn police said.

"The Berwyn Police Department is actively coordinating with neighboring jurisdictions, community leaders and other public entities to ensure that participants, citizens, business and first responder personnel remain safe while individuals exercise their right to speech in a constructive, not destructive manner," Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero said in a statement.

"While we are seeing continued divisiveness across our country based on racism and prejudice, we ask all Berwyn citizens to remain peaceful in your demonstrations and stay safe," Lovero added. "At a time that is extremely difficult for so many in our community, I ask Berwyn to come together and stand in solidarity. Berwyn is proud of the diversity that makes our city special and we need to stay strong as one united community that supports one another."

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