OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:02 AM – Wednesday, September 27, 2023
At least 20 people were arrested after multiple stores across Philadelphia were looted and damaged.
On Tuesday, multiple stores across the Chestnut streets were looted, including big brands like Apple, Lululemon and Footlocker.
According to authorities, at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, police responded to reports of large crowds of juveniles looting stores in the Center City Business Corridor.
A police spokesperson who talked to the press said that the looters were dressed in black and wearing masks.
“In a proactive measure, officers from the 9th District stopped a group of males dressed in black attire and wearing masks at the intersection of 17th and Chestnut Streets,” police said.
The looting began shortly after nearby protests regarding a judge’s decision to drop all charges against a former Philadelphia police officer, Mark Dial, in the August 14th fatal shooting of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry.
The city’s police commissioner, John Stanford, believes the looters were “opportunists” who were unrelated to the protests.
“This had nothing to do with the protests. What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists taking advantage of a situation,” Stanford said.
Stanford also stated that authorities responded to the stores and arrested around “15 to 20 juveniles and young adults.”
“We were told at one point that the crowd got as large as maybe 100 or so that were just making their way through the Center City area,” he said. “We’re investigating that there was possibly a caravan of a number of different vehicles that were going from location to location.”
The commissioner maintained that it was unclear how many businesses were hit, but that targeted stores included clothing and sneaker shops, high-end stores, wine and spirit stores, and pharmacies.
Videos posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, showed large groups of people breaking into stores, pushing each other, and running away with many items at a time.
Many videos posted also show police throwing the looters on to the ground in order to arrest them.
The Philadelphia Police Department released a statement saying they are committed to maintaining public safety.
“The Philadelphia Police Department is committed to maintaining public safety and order,” the statement said. “We are actively investigating these incidents and working diligently to identify and apprehend those responsible for these unlawful acts. We appreciate the cooperation of our community and urge anyone with information related to these incidents to come forward and assist with the ongoing investigations.”
Reportedly, police estimate that the stolen items are worth between $60,000 and $100,000.
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