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Over 50 arrested after mobs ransacked Philadelphia stores. Dozens of liquor outlets are shut down

by Joshua Brown
10 comments
Philadelphia Looting

On Wednesday, numerous individuals were charged with criminal offenses following an orchestrated wave of store break-ins across various Philadelphia neighborhoods. This disturbance was instigated through social media and resulted in groups of individuals forcefully entering retail spaces, looting merchandise, and fleeing the scenes, according to law enforcement officials.

The Philadelphia Police Department disclosed that a minimum of 52 individuals were arrested, and a variety of charges including burglary and theft were filed against at least 30 individuals. Only three of those charged are minors, stated Jane Roh, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

The events of Tuesday night, which targeted multiple stores such as Foot Locker, Lululemon, and Apple, were initially triggered by a peaceful demonstration against a judicial ruling. The judge had dismissed charges, including murder, against a Philadelphia police officer implicated in the fatal shooting of a man named Eddie Irizarry. However, Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford clarified in a press briefing that those involved in the looting were not part of the protest but were rather “criminal opportunists.”

Eighteen government-controlled liquor stores were also vandalized, prompting the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to shut down all 48 of its retail establishments in Philadelphia and one in the suburban area of Cheltenham. While no staff members were injured during these events, some were “noticeably distressed,” according to Shawn Kelly, a spokesperson for the Liquor Control Board.

Social media footage revealed individuals dressed in hoodies and masks running from stores with stolen goods, and police apprehending some. In addition, pictures indicated significant damage at a sporting goods outlet in a mall. Law enforcement also reported the theft of seven automobiles from a lot in the northeastern part of the city.

The criminal activities extended from downtown Philadelphia to the northeast and west, causing extensive damage to commercial properties. According to the North 22nd Street Business Corridor, six enterprises in a single retail sector of North Philadelphia were also affected. This included three pharmacies, a hair salon, a tax preparation service, and a mobile phone retailer. Benjamin Nochum, the manager at Patriot Pharmacy, commented that this was the third such incident affecting his store since 2020. He emphasized the wider social impact, stating that the looters were essentially robbing the community.

The police are investigating claims that the criminal activities were coordinated via social media and possibly involved a sequence of vehicles moving from one location to another.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney condemned these actions as a “disturbing display of opportunistic criminal behavior” and assured that such conduct “will not be tolerated.” His administration is collaborating with law enforcement to evaluate potential requirements for augmented security measures.

The Philadelphia incidents reflect a broader trend of organized retail crimes that have plagued other regions, notably the San Francisco Bay Area. Young individuals, particularly in Philadelphia’s Center City district, were observed shortly before the onset of these crimes, some dressed conspicuously in black and wearing masks.

The police have been responding to a surge in emergency calls related to these events. One example includes a coordinated attack on a Foot Locker store. Additional instances involve police apprehending suspects at a Lululemon store and at an Apple Store where stolen devices were discarded once the thieves realized the devices were disabled.

While no immediate injuries were reported, a security guard at Foot Locker was allegedly attacked, according to CBS Philadelphia. Concurrently, Target announced the closure of nine stores in four states, including New York and California, citing an increase in organized retail crime endangering its employees and customers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Philadelphia Looting

What led to the wave of lootings and break-ins in Philadelphia?

The wave of lootings and break-ins across various neighborhoods in Philadelphia was organized through social media. The criminal activities occurred on the same night as a peaceful protest against a judicial ruling that dismissed charges against a Philadelphia police officer involved in a fatal shooting.

How many arrests have been made related to these incidents?

The Philadelphia Police Department reported that at least 52 arrests have been made in connection with the lootings and break-ins.

Were the looters affiliated with the peaceful protest that occurred the same night?

According to Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford, the individuals involved in the looting were not part of the peaceful protest. They were termed as “criminal opportunists.”

Which stores were particularly targeted during the lootings?

Stores like Foot Locker, Lululemon, and Apple were among the retail establishments that were particularly targeted. State-run liquor stores were also affected.

What actions are being taken to enhance security and prevent future incidents?

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney condemned the criminal activities and stated that such conduct “will not be tolerated.” His administration is collaborating with law enforcement agencies to evaluate the need for increased security measures across the city.

Were any injuries reported during these lootings?

While no immediate injuries were reported among the general public, a security guard at Foot Locker was allegedly assaulted, according to CBS Philadelphia.

How did the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board respond to the situation?

In the wake of the lootings, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board closed all 48 of its retail locations in Philadelphia and one in suburban Cheltenham to assess the damage and ensure employee safety.

What wider impact have these lootings had on local businesses?

Local businesses, especially those in North Philadelphia’s retail corridor, have been severely impacted. For some businesses, like Patriot Pharmacy, this is the third such incident since 2020. The looting has had both economic and social repercussions on these communities.

Is this incident isolated to Philadelphia?

While the recent incidents occurred in Philadelphia, they reflect a broader trend of organized retail crimes that have also been reported in other regions, notably the San Francisco Bay Area.

What are authorities doing to investigate the organized nature of these crimes?

Police are investigating the coordinated efforts behind these criminal activities, including the possible use of a caravan of vehicles and social media to orchestrate the lootings.

More about Philadelphia Looting

  • Philadelphia Police Department Official Statement
  • CBS Philadelphia News Coverage
  • Mayor Jim Kenney’s Public Address
  • Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Announcement
  • Social Media Footage of the Looting
  • Judicial Ruling on Dismissed Charges Against Police Officer
  • North 22nd Street Business Corridor Statement
  • Target Store Closures Announcement

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10 comments

JohnDoe123 September 28, 2023 - 7:52 am

Man, this is crazy. What’s happening to our city?!

Reply
SarahWilliams September 28, 2023 - 9:29 am

This is beyond unacceptable. I cant believe how this has escalated. Are the authorities doing enough to keep us safe?

Reply
ParentInPhilly September 28, 2023 - 11:57 am

Great, now i have to explain all of this to my kids. How do you tell them that their city isn’t safe anymore?

Reply
David_NY September 28, 2023 - 2:30 pm

This isn’t just Philly. Same stuff’s happening in SF and other cities. Looks like a countrywide problem to me.

Reply
JenniferQ September 28, 2023 - 2:53 pm

Honestly, how do these looters think this helps anyone? They’re ruining it for all of us and for what?

Reply
Mike_in_Philly September 28, 2023 - 3:49 pm

It’s like scenes from a movie, but its real life. This needs to stop NOW.

Reply
TomAtWork September 28, 2023 - 10:12 pm

A friend of mine works at one of those liquor stores. He said the situation was pretty scary, makes you wonder about workplace safety.

Reply
Steve_the_Blogger September 28, 2023 - 11:59 pm

The situation’s gone out of hand. Does anyone know what steps are being taken to prevent this from happening again?

Reply
RachelM September 29, 2023 - 1:28 am

I shop at that Foot Locker, or used to anyway. Now I’m thinking twice about going back there.

Reply
CryptoKing September 29, 2023 - 1:58 am

Interesting how they organized this through social media. Tech is a double-edged sword sometimes.

Reply

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