Businesses in Port Richmond along Aramingo Avenue bore the brunt of most looting throughout the River Wards in a weekend marred with looting and violence that overshadowed peaceful protests.
“It’s a war zone,” said PROPAC president and community leader Ken Paul. “For the past three days all I’ve listened to are explosions.”
Paul said he spotted countless looters breaking into and stealing merchandise from stores such as Foot Locker, Target, Walmart, Aramingo Jewelry, GameStop and Mattress Firm.
“The stronghold is Modell’s,” said Paul. “For some reason they haven’t been able to break into there, but it’s only a matter of time.”
The looters were like “sharks in water,” he added. “Once somebody breaches a [store], that fast they all come out of nowhere.”
William Fisher, captain of the 26th police district which includes parts of Kensington, Fishtown and Northern Liberties, told the Star that only “a couple stores hit throughout various parts of the district” and that none of it was concentrated in a particular area. He singled out Snipes, a sneaker store at 2400 Aramingo Avenue and Olympia Sports at Front and Dauphin Streets as the two main spots where looting occurred.
“Snipes had the rear door [pried] open and the front window smashed,” he wrote in an email to the Star. “Olympia Sports had the side door forced open. The front metal grate was partially lifted and the glass door [was] shattered.”
Fisher said the city’s 6 p.m. curfew had “zero impact.”
“[P]eople were still out breaking into stores and looting,” he said.
A mass email sent to stakeholders of the Fishtown/Kensington Business Improvement District said that no property damage was found within the district’s borders other than a broken window at the 7-Eleven at the corner of Front Street and Girard Avenue.
“Our stakeholders heeded our preventive instructions and took vigilant precautions to secure their parcels,” the email read. “Moreover, Marc [Collazzo, the BID’s executive director] spoke with Sgt. John Massi this morning, who informed him that there were no reports of physical injuries within the Fishtown District. The officers of the 26th Police District will now be deployed back to patrol our area so we have the necessary assistance should anything arise. We thank the brave men and women of local law enforcement for their determined efforts, and necessary restraint, to help our community through these heartbreaking days.”
Representatives from the 24th police district have not immediately responded to requests for comment.