Some Philly stores try to ban troublesome teens as cops increase presence in Center City

Paul Kurtz
October 16, 2019 - 2:13 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Police Department has placed extra officers on some streets to keep an eye on students who have been running roughshod over merchants since the school year began.

"We be a little loud, but we're kids. That's what kids do," says one boy.

But adults on the receiving end say the behavior is far worse than that.

The Philadelphia Police Department has placed extra officers on some streets to keep an eye on students who have been running roughshod over merchants since the school year began.
Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

The assistant manager of a South Philadelphia dollar store has posted a note on the door saying kids need to be accompanied by a parent or someone over 18. 

"We just banned all kids," she said.

She says she had to put a stop to the bad behavior.

"We had four groups of boys that came in and tried to steal. And our store manager wanted to put them out, and they got really disrespectful and threw a cart at the door. They threw juice at the window," she said.

It's even worse in Center City. A security guard at a store at 16th and Chestnut street says they've had their hands full almost every day since classes began. 

"We saw smash-and-grabs. We also have a lot of harrasment, fights outside stores, to where customers walk in the street trying to get away," he said. 

The manager of a shoe store there says sometimes the kids enter in swarms and overrun the place.

"If they're coming in a big group, and you see them getting all rowdy, we just lock them in and wait until the cops come, and they help us move them out. They are out of control," she said.

Liberty Place and some fast-food restaurants have also put entrance restrictions in place.
Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

Liberty Place and some fast-food restaurants have also put entrance restrictions in place. Some managers have taken drastic steps to stop swarms of kids from storming their shops and restaurants. 

"Liberty Place, they kick us out all the time. Wendy's, they'll kick us out anytime," said one boy. "They say you gotta wait til later. Let everybody come in front first. They get real disrespectful."

And that's not sitting well with a lot of teens who say they're not trying to cause trouble.

"It makes me feel sad, 'cause when we get out of school, we be very hungry, 'cause we don't eat the school lunch very much. We try to get some. We're starved goin' back home. It's crazy."

The situation has become so charged that a police detail has been assigned to City Hall and areas of Market, Chestnut and Walnut streets after school.