Groups of teenagers entered stores in Philadelphia’s Central City on Tuesday and quickly stole merchandise before escaping. Despite some arrests made by the police, many teenagers managed to get away. The incident occurred at an Apple Store where police pursued the fleeing teenagers and found dropped iPhones and a “pile of iPads” in one location, according to a police statement.
A Lululemon store was also targeted by more than 100 teenagers, resulting in looting, as reported by NBC10 Philadelphia. Social media videos showed individuals with masks and hoodies running out of the store, with police apprehending some of them.
No injuries were reported immediately, but a security guard at Foot Locker was reportedly assaulted during the incident. It is important to note that the store ransacking does not appear to be connected to earlier protests over a judge’s decision to dismiss charges against a police officer involved in a shooting incident.
Coinciding with these thefts, Target announced the closure of nine stores in several states due to increased theft and organized retail crime that has jeopardized the safety of their employees and customers. This includes one store in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood and three in the San Francisco Bay Area.