Crowds of masked teens ransack Philly stores and arrests are made, police say

Groups of teenagers swarmed into stores in several areas of Philadelphia, stuffing plastic bags with merchandise and fleeing, and police arrested 15 to 20 people, authorities said.

The flash mob-style ransacking Tuesday night at stores, including Foot Locker, Lululemon and Apple in Center City, followed an earlier peaceful protest over a judge’s decision to dismiss murder and other charges against a Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed a driver, Eddie Irizarry, through a rolled-up window.

However, the ransacking was not connected to the protest, Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said at a news conference.

“What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists take advantage of a situation and make an attempt to destroy our city,” he said.

The thefts and unrest stretched from Center City to Northeast and West Philadelphia.

Stanford said that people appeared to have organized efforts on social media. He said police are investigating “that there was possibly a caravan of a number of different vehicles that were going from location to location” and that a couple of people in that group were in custody.

  • September 27, 2023
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