Desperation, frustration in age of coronavirus

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on Philadelphia residents leaving some irritated, aggressive and even some are turning to crime.

Philadelphia police are searching for multiple suspects caught on video taking cargo from the back of a trailer in South Philadephia last week.

It happened between April 12 to April 14 on the 3300 block of South 3rd Street.

Video captures the suspects taking boxes of food from the back of a trailer and placing the items into a dark Ford E-150 passenger van with tinted windows bearing Pennsylvania tags KSR 6766. Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.

It's just one of the incidents that suggest that the pandemic shutdown is taking its toll.

On Wednesday morning at the 7-Eleven store at 23rd & Passyunk Avenue, a customer walked in without a mask and was told he couldn't be served.

"We told him that he cannot come into the store without a mask. He was very offended," said Vincent Emmanuel with the Delaware Valley Franchise Owners Association.

As the customers turned around to leave, he began knocking over all sorts of store items from the shelves and a large drink cooler.

RELATED: 'I don't have the virus': Woman accused of spitting on person during social distancing altercation

"We don't make these rules, we just follow them. You have a problem with that talk to your elected official, talk to your governor," said Emmanuel.

In the 1700 block of Chestnut, police say a woman bumped into a customer in a store and when the customer urged her to be mindful of social distancing, the woman pulled down her mask and called the customer an obscene name and spat on her, according to police.

"Some of the stuff that is happening now we have never seen in our lifetime before. They come out of the house with cabin fever, all of a sudden, they come out, they're upset, they're mad, they're irritated," said Emmanuel.

Merchants also say shoplifting is also on the rise. In a recent incident, Emmanuel says a man walks casually through a store on North Broad stashing all sorts of food items in his jacket.

"At the end of the day, a lot of people don't have the money in their hand, so what is the easiest way? Where is the nearest store, grab whatever you can," said Emmanuel.

In this incident, the manager tangled and struggled with the customer outside the store when suddenly all the items fell out of his jacket and he walks away.

"This is not part of our business model-- to take whatever you want. But that's what is happening in Philadelphia stores now," said Emmanuel.


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