The looters and vandals shattered showroom windows, burned two pricey AMG performance cars and broke windshields and spray- painted four more vehicles at Mercedes-Benz of Oakland in California. The extensive damage from the May 29 incident could top $3.5 million, estimates Ash Zaki, CEO of Euromotors Auto Group, which operates the dealership.
And that's only a fraction of the damage to dealerships across the U.S. after civil unrest broke out amid protests against police brutality that spread after the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
The disturbances at dealerships began the evening of May 29, and incidents involving vehicle theft, broken glass and ransacked showrooms continued through early last week from the West to East coasts. More than 30 franchised stores in cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia and Santa Monica, Calif., were vandalized, had vehicles stolen or were forced to close. One store reported the theft of more than 80 vehicles. Dealerships representing at least a dozen brands ranging from ultraluxury Bentley and Ferrari to Chevrolet and Toyota were affected.