A large mob — mostly made up of juveniles — ransacked several stores and damaged property across Philadelphia on Tuesday night, police said.
Around 8 p.m., police received a call about a large crowd entering Center City, officials said.
Looted stores include a Footlocker and Apple store near 15th and Chestnut streets, as well as a Lululemon store in the area.
Acting Police Commissioner John Stanford said Tuesday night’s robbery had nothing to do with the peaceful protest, after charges were dismissed against the officer who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry.
Instead, he argued, those involved in looting used the protest as an excuse to indulge in criminal activity.
“This has nothing to do with protests. What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists,” Stanford said.
Stanford said police have made at least 20 arrests so far and recovered two guns, but officials are not sure if they are connected to the robbery.
More than 100 minors and youths were involved, but as of Wednesday morning, police were still determining how many businesses were affected.
Cellphone video shared with NBC10 shows the robber fleeing the Apple Store.
Cellphone video shows a large number of teenagers robbing an Apple store in center city Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Police said they knew there was a chance something like this could happen, so after the protest they moved personnel to the area to respond quickly if something happened.
“These are not protesters, these are criminals,” Stanford said.
The store next to the Wendy’s on Chestnut Street was broken into and the guard was assaulted, said Hakeem Russell, a security officer at the Wendy’s.
“A couple decided to take full advantage of the unjust shooting that happened,” Russell said. “There’s definitely been unrest here since the verdict.”
Police said it was “disgusting” to see what happened to our city in 2020 and people trying to recreate it.
The police vehicle was damaged but there were no injuries, police said.
“Everybody in town should be pissed,” Stanford said.
Later in the evening, NBC10 found reports of looting in Center City and Port Richmond, as well as in Northeast Philadelphia.
Authorities believe caravans of robbers moved between locations throughout the evening.
Law enforcement officials said they plan to use surveillance video from earlier in the evening in an effort to arrest the men involved in the robbery.
The investigation is on, police said.