Sandy Springs Police officers halted a mass looting attempt at a southern Roswell Road shopping center on the night of May 29-30, and two commercial burglaries in the area may be related, the department says.

The incidents happened around the time that rioters looted Phipps Plaza mall and other shopping locations about 3 miles away in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, during protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, where a police officer is charged with murder and manslaughter. All of the Sandy Springs incidents happened within a mile of the Buckhead border. Also around the same time, a large number of vehicles with obscured, missing or out-of-state license plates appeared in the area of Dunwoody’s Perimeter Mall, about 4 miles away, according to police there.

SSPD said the Sandy Springs attempted looting happened at the Fountain Oaks shopping center at 4920 Roswell Road. “A large group of vehicles and offenders entered the location and began to attempt to enter multiple businesses,” said SSPD spokesperson Sgt. Salvador Ortega.

Officers were able to stop the entries and arrested two people, Ortega said. “Multiple vehicles and offenders were able to flee south on Roswell Road,” he said.

SSPD would not immediately release the incident reports on the arrests. But Ortega said the initial charges were loitering and prowling and that the arrestees were from out of state.

Plywood covers a hole in a glass door where burglars entered a Walgreens store at 4535 Roswell Road on the night of May 29-30 in a crime Sandy Springs Police suspect may have been related to looting that followed protests in Atlanta. A drive-thru window was boarded up as well. (Amy Arno)

The two commercial burglaries nearby were a Walgreens pharmacy at 4535 Roswell Road and an AT&T store in the Gateway shopping center at 4600 Roswell Road.

The Walgreens had front and pharmacy doors forced open, and it was unknown what was stolen, according to Ortega. At the AT&T store, glass in the front door was broken and items were stolen “as reflected by the trail of electronics in the parking lot,” Ortega said.

On May 30, a “small” protest occurred at SSPD headquarters on northern Roswell Road in the city’s North End.

Update: This post has been updated with a photo of the Walgreens store.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.