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Police seek hundreds caught on video looting Ferguson-area store

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Posted at 3:01 PM, Jan 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-21 15:02:16-05

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Missouri — It was one of hundreds of small businesses looted after a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager. Surveillance video released by the St. Louis County Police Department on Wednesday shows looters at the Dellwood Market just outside Ferguson, Missouri, following the November 24 grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown.

A group of men is seen in the video futilely trying to break down the reinforced door. They pull and pull. With a stick or metal rod, they try to pry the door open. When all those efforts fail, they shatter a glass pane in the display window and barrel through a sheet of plywood put up behind the glass.

A wave of looters — at least 180, according to St. Louis County police — can be seen in the video pouring into the small business. For several minutes, they are seen walking back out the way they came in. Some carry bottles of liquor and other merchandise; others haul boxes of goods. Some stragglers arrive late and take some of what’s left.

The owner of Dellwood Market, a family-owned business for 25 years, was home watching the looting live on his surveillance system. During two bouts of looting between the time Brown was shot in the summer of 2014 and the grand jury decision, Jan Lalani, 33, estimates that the business his father founded sustained about $300,000 in damages and losses.

“For me personally, thinking about coming in to work is not the same,” Lalani said.

St. Louis County Police are making video and still images of the Dellwood incident and others public in hopes of arresting some of the looters.