Dramatic new footage shows people smash through windows during Philadelphia looting spree

3 Tuesday October 2023

Dramatic new footage has been released showing groups of people forcing their way into commercial businesses and swiping merchandise during a looting spree in Philadelphia on September 26.

The videos from inside the stores themselves show large numbers smashing through window panes and forcing doors apart to get to items.

Stores from noticeable brands such as Apple, Lululemon and Footlocker are just some of the places that were targeted as crime rates in the US see a sharp rise.

In one video, dozens of looters can be seen pouring into an Apple store before quickly grabbing iPhones, iPads and a TVs off store tables, while in another, looters use a shopping cart to smash the window glass of a Target store.

At least 67 adults and five juveniles involved in the various looting incidents have been charged, local news reported, citing a Monday morning press conference with local officials.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported sharply higher losses to theft, known as "shrink," in its 2023 National Retail Security Survey. It said "shrink" as a percentage of total retail sales accounted for $112.1 billion in losses in 2022, up from $93.9 billion a year earlier. 

“Retailers are seeing unprecedented levels of theft coupled with rampant crime in their stores, and the situation is only becoming more dire," said David Johnston, an NRF spokesman.

On Tuesday, Target announced the closure of nine stores across New York City, the San Francisco Bay area, Portland and Seattle, citing safety concerns from "theft and organized retail crime."

"We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance," the company said in a press release, adding that, despite investing in security to curb the theft, "we continue to face fundamental challenges to operating these stores safely and successfully."

In response to the incident, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said: “This was a sickening display of opportunistic criminal activity, and we will not stand for it.”

John Stanford, Interim Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department insisted: “These were people who took advantage of an opportunity, looking to destroy our city.

“They were a bunch of criminal opportunists.”

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