Manteca Police are closing off downtown tonight from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. out of an abundance of caution due to concerns curfews being imposed in the Bay Area would prompt looters and vandals to head east over the Altamont Pass.
Police officers will be posted in downtown during the nine hour closure.
“Our downtown businesses have been out of business for a long time,” noted Manteca Police Lt. Stephen Schuler. “They were considered non-essential (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). “We want to protect their assets because they can’t afford to lose any more.”
The decision came on the heels of Walmart and Target closing early in the afternoon today. The corporate level decision was made due to issues both firms are experiencing at stores in the Bay Area.
Walmart will open their Manteca store at 7 a.m. Target has not provided any details on their hours of operation on Tuesday.
Walmart’s closure sparked dozens upon dozens of false postings on social media that the Manteca store was being looted. Manteca Police have stressed that the reports are all absolutely incorrect.
Outside of downtown Manteca there were businesses boarding up windows in including several liquor stores and Raymus Development.
Manteca Police have had all officers called back.
The department holds training in civil unrest twice a year. They were deployed to help back up Stockton Police twice in the last few days.
Authorities in Tracy and Lathrop are taking precautions as well. Like Manteca, they do not anticipate problems but are taking precautions.