Philadelphia store looted for 15 hours straight, owner says

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- Numerous businesses across Philadelphia have been looted and damaged over the past few days, including one grocery store, which the owner says was vandalized for 15 hours straight.

The ShopRite store was destroyed by the looters. Owner Jeff Brown said they didn't just take the merchandise, they smashed all their computers, cameras and cash registers.

Brown said he felt helpless over what was happening to his store.

"We called the police, and the police were unable to come for 15 hours. And they looted for 15 hours straight through the night till the next day," said Brown.

Disgusted resident Rashan Howard toured the devastation inside the ShopRite.

"I need somebody to please explain to me how this represents getting justice for George Floyd," said Howard during a Facebook video.

Using axes, sledgehammers and bolt cutters, looters have targeted a number of businesses in Philadelphia.

By chance Tuesday, police got a tip that a lot of the stolen merchandise could be found in an apartment. Sure enough, police said they recovered an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 in merchandise.

"We would like to have some of the owners who believe this may be some of their items come forward and give us some information," said interim Colwyn Police Chief Lt. Michael Hale.

Former Police Superintendent Mike Chitwood, who recently retired after 55 years in law enforcement, said sadly, some of these neighborhoods will not recover. He understands why protesters seeking justice want change.

"Rightfully so. It's these morons, these idiots, these criminals, these sadistic animals that are destroying the fabric of our society," said Chitwood.

Still, he believes police need to do a better job and work with communities for change.

Brown said he plans to rebuild his stores because he said the community needs access to food.

"I really believe we need a bigger presence of the National Guard and I want to get my stores reopen, but with what's going on today, we need the protection of the National Guard," said Brown.

Action News learned through sources that Governor Tom Wolf has authorized 200 additional National Guardsman to be deployed to the southeastern Pennsylvania region. They are expected to begin arriving overnight into Wednesday. They will coordinate with law enforcement as to where they are needed.
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