Convenience store workers in Philadelphia call attention to trend of brazen shoplifting

Convenience store workers in Philadelphia are begging for more support from police to stop the rampant trend of brazen thefts and vandalism that have struck stores across the city. 

Vincent Emmanuel has worked at a 7-Eleven location on West Passyunk Avenue for 43 years, he says the blatant shoplifting is a trend he's never seen before. 

"The shoplifting and doing mischief and breaking stuff up and all that has become part of everyday operation," Emmanuel told FOX 29's Joann Pileggi.

Surveillance cameras recently captured a man armed with a sledgehammer walk into Emmanuel's store and smash two lottery machines. 


Another video shows a group of young people take what they want from the store shelves and leave without paying. 

"Everyday we sit around and expect what’s coming next, what’s happening tomorrow," Emmanuel said. 

The frequency of thefts and the perceived inadequate response from police have caused some store owners to stop reporting the incidents all together. 

Alyssa Seilus said she witnessed a theft and reported it to a store employee who told her they weren't going to call the police because "there's no point."

Shop workers in Philadelphia are calling on police to help tamp down on the rampant and brazen shoplifting thefts threatening their stores.

She said the employee claimed the police "just let them go, and they come back and do it again the next day."

Police, meanwhile, say they take incident reports on theft and petty crime, and they're working to end the cycle of brazen thefts. 

However, in a city with a surging rate of violent crime, a police source admitted that the department has "bigger fish to fry." 

For Emmanuel and shop employees like him, they view the problem of theft and shoplifting as a direct threat to their way of life. 

"We're only trying to make a living, most of the 7-Eleven franchises are small operators, we're not rich people, were everyday people," Emmanuel said.