In a shocking incident, large crowds of juveniles looted multiple stores, including an Apple outlet across Centre City Philadelphia, on Tuesday night. According to NBC Philadelphia, a large crowd-- mainly teenagers-- looted several stores including the Footlocker and the Apple store near 15th and Chestnut and the Lululemon in Centre City.
Citing police officials, the report said they received panic calls at around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, where the desperate callers narrated the terrible loot. The police said the rioters also damaged property across the Centre City of Philadelphia.
In fact, in several videos, which went viral on social media platforms, teenagers, the majority of which wearing black hoodies, were seen filling large plastic bags with stolen merchandise. Another video shows an Apple store with almost all expensive devices stolen on Tuesday night.
Notably, Apple has recently launched its iPhone 15 series. Therefore, it was expected the looted items also included the expensive devices.
No connection with 'peaceful protests': Police
Earlier, it was reported that a large number of teenagers who were gathered to protest against a police officer who fatally shot an armed Latino man in a car were involved in the terrible incident. But later, Acting Police Commissioner John Stanford said that looting had nothing to do with the peaceful protest that took place earlier after charges were dismissed against the officer who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry.
"What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists. These were not protesters, these were criminals," Stanford said.
The official also claimed that around 15-20 arrests were made and added the security agency knew there was potential for something like this to happen. "Therefore, after the protest, we moved personnel to the area to quickly respond in the instance anything happened," he claimed.
"A couple of kids decided they wanted to take full advantage of the unjust shooting that's happened," NBC Philadelphia quoted a security guard at the Wendy's, Hakeem Russell, as saying. "It's definitely been unrest around here since the verdict," he added.
Similar incident reported during riots that broker after George Floyd death
Notably, this was not the first time when such a shocking incident happened after a protest. Earlier in 2020, several iPhones were stolen from its retail stores in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington and Philadelphia, during the protests in the US over the death of African-American George Floyd.
However, the device manufacturer, with the collaboration of local authorities, had blocked the devices. In fact, the looters were surprised to see on-screen messages that read: "This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted". It's been long reported that Apple has hidden software that disables an iPhone if it's stolen from one of its stores.