Philly woman accused of torching police cars during protest tracked down through Etsy, LinkedIn
ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) — BY: ELLA TORRES
A Philadelphia woman was arrested and charged after she allegedly set two police vehicles on fire during protests over the death of George Floyd.
The FBI managed to track down the women, identified by police as Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal, 33, through purchases she made on Etsy and her LinkedIn profile.
Authorities said in a criminal complaint, obtained by ABC News, they sifted through numerous videos and photos of people setting two vehicles on fire at the Philadelphia protests on May 30, which they noted were mostly peaceful.
In some of the photos, a woman with a peace sign tattoo who wore a T-shirt that read, “Keep the immigrants deport the racists,” was seen. Her face was covered by what looked like a bandana in some photos. Others showed her face.
The FBI found the shirt on Etsy, which they called “unique,” and found that a user by the name of “alleycatlore” left a five-star review of the shirt, according to the criminal complaint.
That username then belonged to a person who also used the username “lore-elisabeth,” according to the FBI.
Authorities then searched Lore Elisabeth online and found a LinkedIn profile of a woman in Philadelphia. They learned she was employed as a massage therapist and her employer had videos posted to their website, with the woman in the video matching a driver’s license photo of Blumenthal.
One of the videos showed the same tattoo the woman seen in the protests had, according to the criminal complaint.
A phone number listed by her employer came up belonging to Blumenthal and an address was also found, the criminal complaint stated. Etsy also later provided a record of sale after a subpoena was issued and the address was the same as the one they found through Blumenthal’s employers.
Authorities said in some of the photos she was seen wearing what appeared to be fire retardant gloves.
They said the gloves were “evidence of intent and planning to engage in activities that could potentially hurt her hands and/or eyes, including arson,” the criminal complaint read.
“We at the U.S. Attorney’s Office fully support the First Amendment right of the people to assemble peaceably and to petition their government. But torching a police car has nothing to do with peaceful protest or any legitimate message,” U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said in a statement. “Anybody who engaged in such acts can stand by to put your hands behind your back and head to federal prison. We are coming for you.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement the two vehicles — a sedan and sport utility vehicle — were destroyed after being engulfed in flames. Blumenthal was allegedly seen taking a piece of flaming wood from one of the vehicles already on fire and throwing it into the other that was not yet in flames, authorities said. She was also allegedly seen throwing a flaming object to light the first vehicle on fire.
Blumenthal is in federal custody and it was not immediately clear if she had obtained legal representation yet. Her detention hearing is scheduled for Friday.
If convicted, she could face a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
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