Police departments are warning businesses and residents to be cautious after social media posts surfaced threatening mass looting in Lake County.
The Highland Park Police Department said that there are social media reports of looting expanding from Chicago into the suburbs.
“Businesses and residents are advised to pay heed and take precautions. Your safety is our priority. The City is coordinating with area law enforcement agencies,” the department said in an alert.
A widespread social media post on Facebook had the caption: “Lake County Looting. When: today 8 pm til whenever. Where: All Lake County area. Come get what you want and need.”
“Dress in all black. Bring a bookbag. Have yo own ride,” the caption added. The post has since been deleted and the original poster said it was a “joke.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said that they are deploying additional deputies throughout the county and working closely with municipality police departments.
Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said that many towns in Lake County have also deployed additional officers. He said that detectives are looking into the social media posts.
On Saturday, protests turned violent in Chicago with rampant looting and property damage. The city is under an indefinite curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily and the Illinois National Guard has been deployed.
Several south suburbs of Chicago reported looting and unrest on Sunday but Covelli said there has been no widespread looting or rioting in Lake County yet.
“While we are very hopeful that remains the case, we are prepared to send reactionary teams to keep the community safe and keep property from being damaged and stolen,” he told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
Many businesses in Lake County have decided to close early on Sunday out of an abundance of caution.
“We ask the community to remain vigilant, consider staying home this evening, and call 911 if criminal violations are seen,” Covelli said.