I’m sure that by now everyone has heard about the shocking riots and looting that took place between Saturday and Tuesday nights here in England. I don’t know what the coverage has been like in the US and around the world, but I’m going to guess from the amount of email that I’ve gotten about how, or if, it is affecting us, that everyone has read something or seen at least one article about it on the news. We have been very fortunate that there were no disturbances in our little piece of London. I think there was a bit of trouble on Oxford Street (just a few minutes from our flat) over the weekend, but the police quickly took care of it. On Monday night, pretty much all of the stores and restaurants around us were closed and the streets were much, much quieter than normal with far fewer people out walking around or taking the bus.
But really, I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t post a little bit about how the rioting and looting have impacted the Costco warehouses in England. There was some looting at a couple of the Costco locations around London. I thought they might have escaped the problems because they aren’t usually near the high streets and normal shopping areas, where clearly most of the looting and destruction took place. But alas, even the looters know you can get the good stuff at Costco.
One of the first people to go through the court system, was a convicted drug dealer who was caught trying to steal from the Costco warehouse in Chingford. The guy had just been released from prison too. From what I’ve heard the target was the jewellry counter. I’m not sure if he was with others or not, or how much stuff was stolen from the store. This is the Costco that we used to shop at when we first moved here, the one that we didn’t really like. It kind of surprised me to hear that it was at this Costco which didn’t seem to have any of the looting or riots going on in the area. You can read more about this, and all of the other people from a wide range of backgrounds that have been caught looting and/or involved in the riots in the Daily Mail: First Looters Fast-Tracked Through Court System.
Also, I have heard (via a discussion forum) that there was looting at the Costco location in Croydon where they took televisions and things like that. However, the store was open again the next day with just some areas roped off. I wasn’t able to find anything on the news about this, so the information is just based on some reports from Costco shoppers.
It had been reported at one point that the Costco location in the Star City area of Birmingham was on fire. However, it later came out that it was not the Costco but a nearby recycling center.
But unfortunately, there was a lot of other looting and damage, including fires, at retailers around London and other cities around England. There have also been several people injured, some even killed, by the violence that has erupted. It’s really quite horrible and some of the areas look like war zones with burned out buildings and broken glass and stuff. It’s just really shocking, especially if you watch any of the video footage of the scenes that were taking place.
For a little bit of a smile during all of this dreadful news, here’s my favorite Twitter quote I read:
Waterstone’s employee: “we’ll stay open, if they steal some books they might learn something”
As of today, the total number of arrests now stands at over 1,100, the majority of which have been made in London. And I expect there will be many more over the coming days as police trawl through all of the CCTV footage and get information from witnesses. With any luck this will be over, except for the cleaning up of course, since the country’s best riot counter-measure has come to the area: rain.