AUSTIN, Texas - Three members of an anti-government group have been arrested for looting, burglary, and property damage at a Target store in Austin on May 31.
According to the Travis County Districts Attorney Office, the arrests come as part of an ongoing investigation involving the attorney's office, Austin Police Department, and the FBI.
The DA says the three arrested are known members of a local anti-government group which is self-identified as a communist/socialist ANTIFA group. All three are from Austin.
The incident happened at the Target retail store located at 5621 North Interstate Highway 35 in the Capitol Plaza. The damage to property and merchandise stolen is valued at over $20,000.
On the day of the incident, officers from APD were conducting surveillance after receiving information that local Target stores could be possible sites of looting.
At 5:45 p.m. police witnessed approximately 20 to 30 individuals gather in front of the store. Police say the group proceeded to "rip off the plywood that had been previously placed on the doors to prevent entry into the store." Another group held up a sheet in an attempt to conceal the activity being conducted in front of the building.
Police said after the group shattered the glass on the front door, individuals began to enter the store and shortly after that is when members of the Austin Police Department Special Response Team arrived.
The three arrested include:
- Lisa Hogan, 27
Hogan was arrested on charges of riot and burglary of a building, both of which are State Jail felonies. She is also suspected of sending out live feed video from the scene on Facebook, encouraging others to join the group at the Target to loot the store. Hogan's bonds are set at $25,000 each.
- Samuel Miller, 22
Miller was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and burglary of a building, both of which are State Jail felonies. Miller is accused of destroying and ripping out the surveillance cameras located outside of the Target store. His bonds are set at $25,000 each.
- Skye Elder, 23
Elder was arrested for burglary of a building which is a State Jail Felony. Her bond is set at $25,000.
Miller and Hogan were seen walking briskly away from the scene as the police arrived. Police were able to locate Miller shortly thereafter in a vehicle being driven by Elder.
"These acts of vandalism and looting will not be tolerated. We appreciate the partnership with our local and federal partners in apprehending these suspects and bringing them to justice,” said APD Chief Brian Manley.
"While I fully support the rights of freedom of speech and assembly, I cannot tolerate the subversion of peaceful protest by engaging in wanton destruction and theft. These arrests are important to protecting not only the property owners, but, even more importantly, the peaceful protesters whose message should be heard," said Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore.