More than a dozen people were arrested after a large group of looters ransacked stores in downtown Philadelphia Tuesday night, according to officials.
The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) said officers responded to numerous 911 calls of a large group of teenagers moving through the city’s Center City neighborhood, rummaging through department stores in the area, including a Lululemon, Apple Store, and a Footlocker.
Videos posted on social media showed the group, wearing hoodies and ski masks, running out of the Lululemon department store as officers on the scene tackled several of them on the sidewalk.
Authorities also said the looters targeted stores in other areas, hitting a Rite-Aid, JD Sports department store and a T-Mobile, according to Philadelphia-based ABC affiliate WPVI-TV.
The PPD added that another vehicle slammed into a Curaleaf marijuana dispensary store on the 5000 block of City Avenue in Wynnefield during the ordeal. According to officials, the looters traveled in a caravan of vehicles.
At least 15 to 20 individuals were arrested. Police also recovered two weapons and noted that one of its vehicles suffered serious damage during the chase.
The ransacking of stores happened the s ame U.S.-retailer Target announced that it will close stores in nine locations in four states due to ongoing theft and organized retail crime, according to Harrisburg-based ABC affiliate WHTM-TV. The retail giant said the incidents have threatened the safety of its workers and customers.
The PPD told WPVI-TV that the incident was not related to an earlier protest over the fatal police shooting of Eddie Irizarry.
“What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists take advantage of a situation and make an attempt to destroy our city,” Interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford said in a statement.
The Hill has reached out to the Philadelphia Police Department for comment.
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