Large groups of teenagers broke into stores in Philadelphia’s downtown core Tuesday night and looted handfuls of merchandise before fleeing, police and witnesses said.
Stores that were ransacked downtown included Foot Locker, Lululemon and Apple, happening “in rapid succession” around 8 p.m. ET, according to a press release from the Philadelphia Police Department.
In total, between 15 and 20 arrests were made and two firearms were recovered that night as officers responded to reports of looting, police said.
Police described the looting of the Foot Locker on Chestnut Street as a “coordinated attack” by a “group of men dressed in black clothing and wearing masks.” A number of juveniles fled the scene, police said, but at least one adult was arrested.
Officers also “successfully apprehended several individuals” involved in the looting of the Lululemon on Walnut Street, police said.
A witness, who only gave her first name, Dolly, said he saw “over 30 people” fleeing police at the Lululemon. Her friend, another witness who also only gave her first name, Lisa, said there were “clothes everywhere.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Lisa told Philadelphia’s ABC News station WPVI.
No arrests have yet been made in connection with the looting of the Apple Store on Walnut Street, where cell phones and tablets were seized. But many of the stolen items have since been recovered, according to police.
“The Apple Store looks pretty cleaned up,” Dolly told WPVI. “Except for computer screens, but like all Apple Watches, iPhones.”
Police said they were also investigating other reports of property damage and theft across the city that night, vowing to maintain “public safety and order.”
“We are actively investigating these incidents and working diligently to identify and apprehend those responsible for these unlawful acts,” Philadelphia police said in the statement.
The incidents occurred after peaceful protests over a judge’s decision to drop murder and other charges against a Philadelphia police officer who fatally shot the driver of a car – identified as Eddie Irizarry, 27 years old – through a rolled up window. However, police said the looting was unrelated to previous protests.
ABC News’ Jessica Gorman and Jason Volack contributed to this report.