Philadelphia police have released video of the July 4 incident in which a surging crowd of roughly 60 teenagers marauded through a Philadelphia Walgreens, stealing merchandise, destroying property and reportedly throwing a bottle at the head of an employee who tried to intervene.
CBS3 Philadelphia reported, “Many of the people Eyewitness News spoke to believe the crowd originated from Penn’s Landing and traveled up South Street, gaining in size and causing nearly $7,000 in destruction, according to police. Starting around 10 p.m. Thursday, much of South Street went into lockdown … As the crowd moved west on South Street, businesses still open at the time either chose or were advised by police to lock their doors … By the time the large group of young people made it to 18th and South Street, police say it had grown to about 60 people strong.”
The Philadelphia police described the rampage this way:
On July 4, 2019 at approximately 10:00 PM, a large group of approximately sixty (60) males and females stormed the Walgreens store located at 1800 South Street. Once inside, the group ran around knocking items off of the shelves and running out of the store without paying for merchandise. Some members in the group threw merchandise at store employees, resulting in injuries.
Philadelphia Police captain Sekou Kinebrew told ABC6 Philadelphia, “Yesterday was a day of celebration so large crowds and people moving around, having fun, that was certainly to be expected but this type of act was not something that we expected and not something that we will tolerate … Between the things that they stole and the property damaged inside, it’s between $6,000 and $7,000 in damage.”
Areavibes.com has noted, “The overall Philadelphia, PA crime rate is 104% higher than the Pennsylvania average and is 46% higher than the national average. Looking at violent crime specifically, Philadelphia, PA has a violent crime rate that is 202% higher than the Pennsylvania average and 147% higher than the national average. For property crime, Philadelphia, PA is 86% higher than the Pennsylvania average and 30% higher than the national average.”
The Philadelphia Citizen reported of Philadelphia’s violent crime rate in 2018:
Philadelphia suffered a total of 351 violent homicides in 2018, in a city of 1.6 million people. To put that in perspective: The murder rate here was 17 percent higher than New York City’s 289 homicide victims, its Amtrak Corridor big cousin of 8.5 million. It was 20 percent higher than Houston’s official total of 279 victims, a place of 2.3 million that characterized that as “an uptick.” … And Philadelphia had more homicides in 2018 than the entire Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and large parts of Maryland combined): 280 homicides for that region of 6.2 million residents … In Philly, there are no declines, just increases—and not good ones, either. That homicide total, according to Philadelphia Police Department data, is the highest since a high of 391 in 2007.