LONDON RIOTS: TVs, computers, clothes and shoes - images of the spoils online People appearing to claim responsibility for the looting of shops during the riots used social networking sites such as Twitter yesterday to boast of their haul.
As businesses across the capital counted the cost of the destruction and theft, the alleged perpetrators posted pictures on the internet displaying their booty.
In one photograph that was circulated widely on Twitter, a youth can be seen posing brazenly with a large number of items including computer games, cosmetics and electrical goods.
The individual involved made no attempt to disguise his identity, prompting widespread criticism from other internet users.
Another photograph, which was also circulated on the Twitter site, showed a room almost full to the ceiling of shoe boxes.
The Twitter user who discovered the image and posted it on the internet, wrote: “These looters went hard! Loot hard or go yard!”
It is impossible to know whether the photographs displayed the spoils of an actual raid, or were simply mischief making by internet users.
But critics have warned that such postings are helping to fuel the unrest by glamorising the activities of the looters.
Widespread looting took place across London after the riots that erupted in Tottenham on Saturday night.
Early on Sunday morning gangs of looters descended on a retail park in Tottenham Hale north London, where they ransacked several stores including PC World, Currys, Comet and Staples.
At a branch of JD Sports looters formed an orderly queue as they waited their turn to help themselves to training shoes and other designer label sports wear.
One woman, who was described by locals in Tottenham as a known trouble maker who had recently been evicted from her flat, even had time to try a pair of shoes on for size.
In Brixton, south London, where there was also widespread looting, residents described how many thieves were speaking openly and almost proudly of their activities.
Paul Thompson said he watched as a group of teenage girls ran past his Brixton flat carrying bags of stolen clothes.
Mr Thompson added: “When I got to the High Street they had already broken into Foot Locker.
''People were coming from everywhere, they were even running over from the council flats opposite.
It was everyone, old women, men in cars, everybody was doing some looting.
“I stood and watched from about midnight to 2am as plasma screens and computers came out at a rate of about 10-a-minute. No one did anything to stop them.
“People were driving into the estate and filling their cars with computers and flat screens. Most of the cars were so full their boots could not close.
“At one point people said the bottom floor was empty and you need to go to the top floor to get stuff. They must have stolen everything.”
One woman told how she had overhead a conversation on a bus in which an adult female was explaining to a friend how she was planning to return to a branch of H&M where she had stolen some items of clothing to exchange them for some others.
Someone else told a public meeting in the borough how a man who had been making off with a stolen television had himself been robbed by a gang of youths.
With the police deciding to concentrate on rioting rather than looting, many of the individuals targeting businesses even had time to try on clothes before making off with them.
Witnesses said many of the looters drove their vehicles to the stores to enable them to make off with large bulky items such as plasma televisions and computers.
By Martin Evans - Telegraph
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