Employee pepper sprayed during robbery at Wawa in University City, police say

Authorities say a Wawa employee was pepper sprayed early Thursday morning during a robbery at a store in University City.

According to police, five suspects entered the Wawa on the 3400 block of Chestnut Street around 1 a.m. and stole $100 in merchandise. 

Customers who frequent the popular chain were shocked to learn about the brazen theft. 

"I’m in shock because that also does make me feel really unsafe as a student here, as someone who is part of this community," Iashan Sahai, a UPenn student, said.

The robbery comes on the heels of a report in the Philadelphia Business Journal in which Philadelphia Councilmember Mike Driscoll suggested Wawa is reconsidering its presence in Philadelphia and could halt expansion due to crime.


When reached for comment by FOX 29's Jeff Cole, Driscoll backed off his comments about Wawa's future in Philadelphia. He claimed that the concerns that he voiced were his own and nothing Wawa had expressed to him.

"What I meant was I had concerns that could cause them to reconsider," Driscoll said. "I’m a champion and a cheerleader for Philadelphia."

Driscoll says he met with the representative one day after the Wawa in Mayfair was ransacked by dozens of juveniles. 

FOX 29 has learned that Wawa will close two stores at 12th and Market and 19th and Market. In a statement, Wawa said "continued safety and security challenges and business factors have made it increasingly difficult to remain open in these two locations."

"We are very sorry we can’t be there for our friends and neighbors at these two locations, but we continue to serve the community from our other nearby stores and our commitment to the greater region remains strong," a statement read in part. "Philadelphia is our hometown and that’s something that will never change."

Since 2020, at least four Wawas have closed their doors and others have cut their hours.