Most Philadelphia liquor stores reopen, but some could be closed for weeks

Officials said it could take days, or weeks, to secure and repair the stores that are still closed.

Ransacked liquor store

Shown is the aftermath of a ransacked liquor store in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. Police say groups of teenagers swarmed into stores across Philadelphia in an apparently coordinated effort, stuffed bags with merchandise and fled. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Most liquor stores in Philadelphia have reopened following this week’s looting, but a handful will remain closed for the time being.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board previously closed all 48 of its Philadelphia retail locations and one in suburban Cheltenham due to looting that began Tuesday night.

At least 18 state-run liquor stores were broken into, officials said Wednesday.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Meanwhile, two people were arrested around 2:30 a.m. Thursday for stealing from the location near Adams Avenue and East Tabor Road.

Police say the pair were loading up a car with liquor. The store was not boarded up, and police say the two were helping themselves to what was left.

The PLCB said while it hoped to have most stores open from 11 a.m. until 6 a.m. Thursday, the following will remain closed for now:

  • 3250 N. Broad St.
  • The Shops at Brewerytown, 3101 W. Girard Ave.
  • 4229 N Broad St.
  • 5159 Lancaster Ave.
  • 4906-4908 Baltimore Ave.
  • Erie Plaza, 3772 L St.
  • 2115 N 22nd St.
  • Roosevelt Plaza, 6577 Roosevelt Blvd.
  • Adams & Tabor Center, 730 Adams Ave.

Officials said it could take days, or weeks, to secure and repair those stores.

No employees were hurt Tuesday night, but “some were understandably shaken,” said liquor board spokesperson Shawn Kelly.

The chaos started around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday after numerous 911 calls stated a large group, possibly as many as 100, moving through Center City Philadelphia.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Other stores in and around the city were ransacked, including Lululemon, Foot Locker, and an Apple store.

People appeared to have organized efforts on social media, according to John Stanford, the interim police commissioner.

Philadelphia police have arrested a woman accused of encouraging looters while live on Instagram.

Dayjia Blackwell, 21, allegedly used her social media platform to encourage people to engage in looting at several locations and is alleged to have engaged in criminal activities herself, according to the district attorney’s office.

She is charged with Burglary, Conspiracy, Criminal Trespass, Riot, Criminal Mischief, Criminal Use of Communication Facility, Receipt of Stolen Property, and Disorderly Conduct.

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

Video posted to social media showed people hanging out of cars in a shopping center parking lot, appearing to yell directions to one another.

Dozens of arrests have been made so far and all but three of them are adults, according to Jane Roh, spokesperson for the Philadelphia district attorney’s office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Get the WHYY app!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal