By Melissa Koenig
The City of Brotherly Love faced a second consecutive night of widespread looting, with footage showing hooded women grabbing supplies from a beauty store and the glass windows of a liquor store shattered after the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board closed all of its locations in Philadelphia.
Store security footage obtained by CBS News showed a group of women busting through the glass front door of Nat’s Beauty Supply in Mayfair early Thursday.
They could be seen indiscriminately pulling hair extensions and wigs off the shelves of the store, which owner Claudia Silmeas opened just six months ago.
“It’s just me doing everything,” she told CBS 3. “I don’t know what to think, I don’t know who to call. Everything is missing.”
Other footage posted online by Fox 29’s Steve Keeley captured Fine Wine & Good Spirits on Adams Avenue blasted apart after a group of organized thieves targeted the store.
It showed the windows smashed, with glass scattered across the parking lot.
Inside, the shelves were emptied and boxes and broken bottles lined the floor.
The thieves also made off with a safe and a lottery machine from the state-run chain store, according to the Daily Mail.
“It appears they took all they could and left a lot behind,” a source told Keely, who added that a sneaker store had also been targeted.
Two people have been taken into custody for the liquor store theft after responding officers found the pair loading up a car with merchandise around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, ABC 6 reported.
The vandalism occurred even though the state Liquor Control Board closed all 48 of its Philadelphia stores, and one in suburban Cheltenham, following similar burglaries at least 18 other locations the night before, when the city descended into chaos.
No liquor store employees were injured Tuesday night, but “some were understandably shaken,” liquor board spokesperson Shawn Kelly said in a statement.
He added that the stores were “closed in the interest of employee safety, and while we assess the damage and loss that occurred.
“We will reopen stores when it is safe to do so, and when the damage is repaired.”
As of Thursday morning, there has been no update on when that may be.
Police say the widespread looting has no connection to earlier protests against a judge’s decision not to charge a police officer in the fatal shooting of a man sitting in his car, with Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford saying the organized gangs are just trying to take advantage of the situation.
They hit a Foot Locker and Apple store near 15th and Chestnut streets Tuesday night, as well as a Lululemon in Rittenhouse Square and are accused of assaulting a security guard at the shoe store.
Seven cars were also stolen Tuesday night, and only one had been recovered as of Wednesday morning, police said.
Stanford called the thieves “a bunch of criminal opportunists” at the news conference Tuesday night, claiming it appeared they had organized their efforts on social media.
Police are also investigating whether “there was possibly a caravan of a number of different vehicles that were going from location to location” after video posted online showed people hanging out of cars in a shopping center parking lot, appearing to bark orders at one another, Stanford said.
A total of 52 arrests have been made as of Thursday morning, and all but three of the suspects are adults, Jane Roh, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, told ABC 6.
The suspects range in age from 14 to 37 years old, according to CBS News, and most of the charges are for burglary and theft — though six people have been charged with inciting a riot.
Among those arrested was social media influencer Dayjia Blackwell, better known as “Meatball,” who shared her firsthand view of the carnage.
Videos posted to her Instagram Stories show looters targeting several businesses, including Apple, Foot Locker and Lululemon, Tuesday night.
She could be heard laughing and cheering on the thieves as she stood by and watched the chaos unfold.
At one point during her stream, Blackwell turned to face her camera and challenged the cops to arrest her.
“Tell the police they’re either gonna lock me up tonight, or it’s gonna get lit, it’s gonna be a movie,” she said at one point.
“This is what happens when we don’t get justice in this city,” she screamed as she joined a crowd of youngsters in the street.
She was later handed eight separate charges including six felonies stemming from her involvement with the looting, according to court documents viewed by The Post.
Blackwell was charged with burglary, criminal trespassing, conspiracy, criminal mischief, riot with the intent to commit a felony and criminal use of a communication facility.
Police also issued the influencer two misdemeanors — receiving stolen property and hazardous conditions/physically offensive.
Authorities say they will continue making arrests until all the individuals responsible are brought to justice, and will extend officers’ shifts to make sure they are prepared for any issues that may arise through the weekend.
Mayor Jim Kenney also said his administration will work with the police to assess “which areas of the city may need increased coverage or additional resources.”
“This destructive and illegal behavior cannot and will not be tolerated in our city,” he said in a statement.