Santa Maria police say they've started to make arrests and impound vehicles involved in the events that followed a peaceful protest on Sunday.
Protesters gathered at the intersection of Cook St. and Broadway on Sunday afternoon for what was a peaceful demonstration. Much of the crowd had dissipated by 6:30 p.m. but after dark, more people began to arrive in the area, with some people doing donuts in the street with their cars and setting off fireworks. A fire was also set in the middle of the street in front of City Hall, and the U.S. flag was cut down.
At around 11 p.m., the crowd left the intersection and a large group of people broke into the Santa Maria Town Center Mall.
Police say they've been working the past few days to identify the people involved in the vandalism and looting and began making arrests on Wednesday.
Police say they support peaceful protests but, "Those that seek to victimize others will be held accountable."