But among the scenes of disruption, there were stories of heroism and people standing up against the looters.
As scattered incidents of looting were occurring, one woman stood with her bike in front of a Santa Monica jewelry store that had already had its windows smashed and helped ward off additional trouble.
Bill Bubar of Bubar's Jewelers, a business in Santa Monica for 75 years, says an organized mob tried to break into his store.
"Basically it was a mob out of control," he told ABC7. "They were driving in the middle of the street. They jumped out of cars," Bubar said,
After the first group hit and were unable to break through the gate, the young woman with the bicycle stayed in front of his store for two hours helping to ward off additional looter attempts.
"With all of this commotion she stood here and literally I think they left it alone because she was standing in front of the door," Bubar said.
"She was really the hero," Bubar said.