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Mobs of masked teenagers ransacked Philadelphia shops. Police say 15 to twenty have been arrested.

Nationwide Information

“This harmful and unlawful conduct can not and won’t be tolerated in our metropolis.”

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Teams of youngsters swarmed into shops in a number of areas of Philadelphia in an apparently coordinated effort, stuffing plastic luggage with merchandise and fleeing, authorities mentioned. Police arrested 15 to twenty individuals.

The flash mob-style ransacking Tuesday evening at shops together with Foot Locker, Lululemon and Apple got here after a peaceable protest over a choose’s determination to dismiss homicide and different expenses towards a Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed a driver, Eddie Irizarry, by way of a rolled-up window.

These doing the ransacking weren’t affiliated with the protest, Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford mentioned at a information convention, calling the group “a bunch of legal opportunists.”

Video on social media confirmed masked individuals in hoodies working out of Lululemon with merchandise and cops grabbing a number of and tackling them to the sidewalk. Images of a sporting items retailer at a mall confirmed mannequins and sneakers scattered on the sidewalk.

The thefts and unrest stretched from downtown to Northeast and West Philadelphia, leaving smashed show home windows and damaged storefront coverings.

“This harmful and unlawful conduct can not and won’t be tolerated in our metropolis,” Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, mentioned on social media, calling it a “sickening show of opportunistic legal exercise.”

His administration is working with police to evaluate “which areas of town may have elevated protection or further assets,” he mentioned.

Individuals appeared to have organized efforts on social media, Stanford mentioned. Police are investigating “that there was probably a caravan of plenty of completely different autos that had been going from location to location” and that a few individuals within the caravan had been in custody.

There was a excessive variety of younger individuals in Philadelphia’s downtown enterprise hall, known as Middle Metropolis, shortly earlier than 8 p.m., and a few officers stopped a gaggle of males “wearing black apparel and carrying masks,” in response to a police information launch.

At the moment, experiences and 911 calls got here in concerning the Foot Locker retailer. When police arrived, they discovered it had been “ransacked in a coordinated assault,” the information launch mentioned. The juveniles fled, and at the least one grownup as arrested.

By 8:12 p.m., police responded to related calls at Lululemon, the place individuals had been arrested. Shortly afterward, calls directed police to the Apple Retailer. No arrests had been made there, however the retailer misplaced telephones and tablets, though many have been recovered, the information launch mentioned.

No accidents had been instantly reported, however CBS Philadelphia reported {that a} safety guard was assaulted on the Foot Locker.

In North Philadelphia, a pharmacy proprietor mentioned his retailer was damaged into for a 3rd time and objects taken.

“I perceive, you understand, determined occasions for individuals name for determined measures and there are many opportunists that simply see medicine,” Benjamin Nachum advised CBS. He mentioned, although, {that a} protected in his retailer did its job, “so there received’t be any illicit narcotics hitting the road.”

The thefts occurred the identical day Goal introduced it should shut 9 shops in 4 states, together with one in New York Metropolis’s East Harlem neighborhood, and three within the San Francisco Bay Space, saying that theft and arranged retail crime have threatened the protection of its staff and prospects.