US teens alert, loot Philadelphia shops in flash mob-style raid | Crime News

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More than 20 mostly young people have been arrested after raids on Apple, Lululemon and Foot Locker stores in the US city.

Groups of masked and hooded teenagers broke into and swarmed downtown Philadelphia stores, grabbing merchandise and fleeing on foot in a flash mob-style rampage, authorities and witnesses say. to say

The Apple Store was hit at around 8pm local time on Tuesday (00h00 GMT) and police chased fleeing teenagers who attacked the store, recovering fallen iPhones and “A bunch of iPads” at one location, a police statement said.

More than 100 people who appeared to be teenagers broke into a Lululemon store, NBC10 Philadelphia reported, citing a police official.

A video posted on social media showed mostly youths hiding in hoodies running out of Lululemon and police officers grabbing several and tackling them to the sidewalk, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

No injuries were immediately reported but CBS Philadelphia reported that a security guard was assaulted at the Foot Locker location.

The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper reported that more than 20 people were arrested, many of them young people, during the robbery and vandalism on Tuesday night.

According to the Examiner, the city’s acting police commissioner, John Stanford, said that the young people involved in coordinating the raids were likely using social media and a “caravan of cars” was moving around parts of the town and breaking into shops.

The raids appeared to have been carried out by police by midnight local time, the newspaper said.

The flash mob-style destruction followed an earlier peaceful protest in the city over a judge’s decision Tuesday to drop manslaughter and other charges against a Philadelphia police officer who fatally shot a driver, Eddie Irizarry, through a car window .

Several police chiefs said the looting was unrelated to earlier demonstrations about the judge’s decision, CBS Philadelphia reported.

“This had nothing to do with the protests,” Stanford’s acting police chief said, according to the Examiner.

“What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists taking advantage of a situation and trying to destroy our city,” he said.

The raids came on the same day US budget retailer Target announced it would close nine stores in four states, including one in New York’s East Harlem neighborhood, and three in the San Francisco Bay Area, saying theft and organized retail crime have threatened. the safety of the employees and the customers.

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