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Five Illinois residents sought for looting store during August unrest in Kenosha

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CIVIL UNREST AFTER OFFICER SHOOTING

Rioters cheer as a garbage truck is lit on fire during the August civil unrest that took place in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Five people from Illinois are being sought on warrants for looting a jewelry and pawn shop during August rioting in Kenosha.

Warrants were issued this week for five people alleged to have looted GNT Jewelry and Loan, 7944 Sheridan Road, on Aug. 24.

The charges are the latest to come from criminal investigations into arson fires, looting, burglary and criminal damage that occurred in the days following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer on Aug. 23.

Kenosha Police Lt. Joseph Nosalik said there are ongoing investigations into 32 arson fires and 85 other cases associated with the unrest.

According to the criminal complaint in the looting case filed this week, security video from the GNT store showed five people approached the store on foot and breaking the glass doors and windows to get inside. The owner of the store told police that televisions, video game consoles and other electronics were stolen. The owner estimated that the value of the goods stolen was $14,800 and the cost of repairing damage to the building was an estimated $4,000.

The complaint states that an unidentified person at the scene gave the owner license plate numbers for two vehicles used by people who took things from the store.

According to the complaint, to identify the five people involved police used those license plate numbers, video from the store, social media accounts and records from other pawn shops where stolen items were later sold.

The five Illinois residents charged in the case are Dale Wells, 29, of Waukegan; Mishawn Billips, 26, of Round Lake Beach; Nakita Billips, 28, of Round Lake Beach; Kevin Bryant, 22, of Waukegan; and Sara Weeks, 31, of Waukegan.

They are each charged with burglary, theft and criminal damage to property. Warrants were issued for their arrest.

Investigations continue

While charges stemming from burglaries and fires that happened in August have been coming slowly, Nosalik said both local and federal investigations are ongoing on dozens of cases.

“The crimes that were committed during the period of civil unrest have not been forgotten. The Kenosha Police Department continues to investigate and pursue justice for the citizens and businesses that were affected by these crimes,” Nosalik stated, saying the investigators remain “resolute in our dedication to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.”

This week, Joshua Ziminski, 35, of Racine, was charged with arson of property other than a building — a felony  — for allegedly setting a dumpster on fire and pushing it onto Sheridan Road and into the path of police vehicles on Aug. 25. He had earlier been charged with disorderly conduct-use of a dangerous weapon for allegedly firing a gun into the air the same night, that shot happening moments before and in the same area as the Kyle Rittenhouse shootings.

Ashton L. Howard, 27, of Kenosha, was charged in federal court for allegedly throwing a brick at a Kenosha Police officer, knocking him unconscious, during protests on Aug. 23 near 28th Avenue and 40th Street. Howard was charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder and possession of ammunition as a convicted felon.

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