Center City business owner outraged after vandal targets store

"It's just disheartening when you think there could be safer places for you to live," said Marti Lieberman.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Philly business owner outraged after vandal targets store
One local business owner is frustrated after she says she called Philadelphia police to report a crime, and was allegedly informed their hands were tied.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Center City Philadelphia business owner is outraged after a vandal targeted her store this week.

Marti Lieberman, the co-owner of Mac Mart, says she called to report the crime to police but one officer allegedly told her there was nothing that could be done.

"It's really unsettling that when you call the cops, they come, but then there's nothing that they can do for you," said Lieberman, whose business specializes in a variety of macaroni and cheese bowls.

Lieberman says Monday, around 6:40 p.m., a disoriented man fell asleep outside on one of her tables and then did something unexpected.

"He kind of woke up, and he chucked this red perfume bottle," she said.

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The impact shattered the large plate window in front of the store.

She says she called the police and followed the man to an officer nearby and told him what happened. The man even admitted to breaking the window, Lieberman says.

But she was shocked by the officer's response.

"'There's nothing I can do unless I see him doing it.' And I responded by saying, 'Well, I have a surveillance camera, and he's here right in front of us admitting that he did this. And there's nothing you can do?' And he said, 'Unfortunately, my hands are tied,'" Lieberman recalled.

She adds that other business owners have noticed a trend of crimes in Center City that seems unabated. About a week and a half ago, Lieberman says a fight broke out in front of the shop, and men picked up some of her signs to attack each other.

"These police officers, their hands are tied, and it's becoming very evident over the last two years especially, and it's starting to really affect the small businesses," said Lieberman.

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Lieberman says it could cost up to $4,000 to replace the window.

"I've lived in Philly my entire life...I rooted for Philly, and now, it's just disheartening when you think there could be safer places for you to live," said Lieberman.

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police Department says it is unclear why the officer said there was nothing he could do. They confirm that the Central Detective Division will now be investigating this case.