PHILADELPHIA, PA – A wave of looting has swept across Philadelphia, with groups of teenagers targeting multiple stores, including high-profile brands like Apple Store, Lululemon, and Foot Locker. The city’s mayor and police chief have voiced their outrage at this criminal activity, which they believe was a coordinated effort.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney described the looting as a “repugnant display of opportunistic crime” and assured residents that such behavior would not be tolerated. The incident, which unfolded on Tuesday night, involved up to 100 individuals, many of them underage.
Interim Commissioner John Stanford shared the mayor’s sentiments, labeling the individuals involved as “criminal opportunists.” He emphasized that these individuals were not protesters but criminals intent on causing destruction.
Social media was awash with videos of the incident, showing individuals in masks and hoodies storming into stores, grabbing merchandise, and fleeing. By Wednesday morning, the police had apprehended 15 to 20 suspects.
The looting spree followed a peaceful protest triggered by a judge’s decision to dismiss charges against a white Philadelphia police officer who had fatally shot a Black resident, Eddie Irizarry. However, Commissioner Stanford clarified that the looters were not affiliated with the protest.
The looting caused significant damage to several stores. A T-Mobile store had its glass door shattered, and devices and accessories worth thousands of dollars were discarded. The Apple store was similarly affected, with many items taken and then discarded when the store’s anti-theft equipment rendered the devices useless.
The Philadelphia Police Department is actively investigating these incidents and has made several arrests. They are also probing the possibility of a caravan of vehicles moving from location to location during the looting spree.