Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal, 33, wore a custom T-shirt saying ‘KEEP THE IMMIGRANTS, DEPORT THE RACISTS’ while setting a police car on fire during the George Floyd Philadelphia protests last month.
A photo and video of Blumenthal committing the crime was shared on social media, prompted authorities to track her down.
According to The Philadelphia Enquirer, Blumenthal is now facing two counts of felony arson and, if found guilty, a sentence of seven years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.
Blumenthal wore a scarf over her face so it will have been difficult to identify her visually, so the authorities looked to her unique T-shirt as a way of doing so.
FBI agents were able to find the custom T-shirt on Etsy and see that a user known as ‘Xx Mv’ had bought one and left a review.
‘Fast shipping, thanks very much!’ was the comment and was posted alongside a small picture of her days before the protest happened. From the review, the FBI traced the user’s URL to find it belonged to ‘alleycatlore’, an Etsy user listed as being from Philadelphia, where the incident took place.
The agents then linked ‘alleycatlore’ to an account with the username of Lore-Elisabeth on Poshmark, an online marketplace for people to buy and sell clothes. After searching her name and location on LinkedIn, they successfully found Blumenthal.
As well as her T-shirt, authorities identified her by a peace sign tattoo on her forearm.
The authorities are thought to have looked through 500 photographs to identify Blumenthal, as well as videos of her where the tattoo was visible.
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain spoke about the crime committed, saying:
“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.”
“It is a violent and despicable act that will be prosecuted in this District to the fullest extent of the law. 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.”