Burglars target Center City businesses during coronavirus shutdown

Annie McCormick Image
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Burglars target Center City businesses during coronavirus shutdown
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High-end retailers in Center City have been victims of burglaries since they had to shutter their business per government orders due to COVID 19.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Though the crisis has brought out the best in so many, it has also brought out the worst in others. Lately, more and more shuttered businesses have been targeted by those trying to take advantage of the situation.

High-end retailers in Center City Philadelphia have been victims of burglaries since they closed their doors due to COVID-19.

VINCE at 17th and Walnut streets was hit overnight Sunday into Monday. Sources tell Action News two racks of clothes were stolen.

The owners of Joan Shepp near 18th and Chestnut streets tell Action News on March 18 a group of minors threw a brick into a side window and made off with sneakers but were quickly caught by police.

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Philadelphia police say in addition to those burglaries, Mitchell and Ness, near the same area, was also burglarized.

At Mitchell and Ness, which sells high-end sports jerseys and clothing, a group of four people used a rock to break a window and gain entry. Police did not release what was stolen. No arrests have been made.

Another high-end sneaker store, Villa, was also burglarized in late March.

A jewelry store in Germantown in the 2600 block of Germantown Avenue was also targeted late Sunday night. They lost $25,000 in merchandise.

As for the Center City shopping corridor, there is a strong police presence.

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Managing Director Brian Abernathy said property crime overall is down but they still will work on connecting with business owners to calm concerns.

"While we have specific incidents we can point to, many of those incidents would've happened regardless of the pandemic in our current posture. We certainly should have a wider conversation with our business corridors and we'll certainly make that happen," said Abernathy.

Arrests have been made in two of the recent Center City cases.


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