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Philadelphia looting aftermath: Center City businesses clean up mess left behind

Over 50 people arrested after looting in Philadelphia
Over 50 people arrested after looting in Philadelphia 03:43

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Broken glass and trash littered storefronts and sidewalks in the aftermath of looting across the city Tuesday night. The chaos started hours after a judge dismissed all charges against a former police officer who shot and killed Eddie Irizarry.

Police said none of the looters were connected to the peaceful protesters who came out in support of Irizarry.

Lots of people were out on Walnut Street Wednesday and CBS Philadelphia saw some police officers patrolling around over the last few hours. One resident said that looting seemed to put a lot of people in the area on edge and city leaders we spoke with said it's time to get tough on anyone involved.

"This is not shoplifting," Mayor Jim Kenney said. "This is looting. This is riot."

One video shows police and alleged looters clashing outside the Lululemon store on Walnut and just down the street, a security guard tried to hold off people forcing their way into the Apple Store. Now, city leaders said they're looking to come down hard on anyone involved in Tuesday night's looting spree.

"A robbery charge, a burglary charge, a theft charge, receiving stolen property," Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford said. "Whatever we can possibly apply to this situation, we're going to apply it."

Rickey Duncan, CEO of the NOMO Foundation met us at Zone 7 at Blu Chantal's on South Street and said he has a message for the youth.

"Don't be a victim of the system," Duncan said. "Don't be a victim of peer pressure and look towards the positive things that's taking place in your community because there is people to help you and you do have other outlets."

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"The DA and the courts need to make sure these people pay a price for what they did," Kenney said.

Investigators said so far they've made 52 arrests in connection to the incidents, 49 of them adults. Stanford said they believe these groups are organized on social media and singled out one woman who is in custody as a possible leader.

"This person incited a lot of other individuals to do at one point, what we know, is coordinated a caravan of individuals to go across the city hitting multiple locations," Stanford said.

Police didn't put a total on the loss suffered by businesses but store owners were left to clean up the messes left behind.

City Commerce Director Anne Nadol said her office is working to make sure businesses have what they need.

"Reach out to these businesses, help them with security initiatives. Help them with cleanup," Nadol said. "Help them making sure they have all their insurance at the levels they need to be."

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Stanford said his officers are prepared for any more of these incidents and they're monitoring social media. He also said people should expect to see more cops in high target areas.

"Philadelphia is not going to be the place that you can come and do this type of behavior," Stanford said.

CBS Philadelphia reached out to the DA's office about charges related to these looting incidents.

As of 4 p.m., a spokesperson said they've charged at least 31 people including three juveniles. The most common charges were burglary and theft. They range from 14-37 years old.

Police didn't put a total on how much businesses lost.

Philadelphia looting: Store owners clean up, question what is next 01:59
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