Video shows man smash through Philadelphia storefront window, steal high-end purses

Authorities in Philadelphia are searching for a man seen on video using a hammer to smash through a store window and steal expensive women's handbags. 

Investigators say the smash-and-grab happened Friday just after 2:00 a.m. outside a business on the 4300 block of Main Street in Manayunk. 

The suspect, described as a Black man in his 40s with a full ‘salt and pepper’ beard, is seen loitering outside the business for several minutes before the robbery. 


Video shows the suspect take out a hammer from a bag, look around several times, and begin to violently smash through the storefront window. 

Police say the man stole several high-end purses from the business with an estimated value of nearly $5,000. 

Gwen Mccauley, Executive Director of The Manayunk Development Corporation says she’s concerned since this is highly unusual for this section of the city known for its restaurants, shops and Main Street America charm. She says the store owner is rattled.

"I think she's just disappointed because again this is an area we don't really expect to see this so when something like this happens, you feel victimized," said Mccauley.

Joe Donahue Owns Urbanburb Furniture, a consignment store just a few blocks down from the smash and grab break-in.

"It's really scary, I mean, I don't think people realize how much windows cost and how much damage that does to a business when you take a hammer to a window like that, and take out inventory," said Donahue. 

With big windows showing off his merchandise, Donahue says he has a serious security system, but admits that's not always enough.

"It's tough to defend against anything like that, because you never know when it's gonna happen," he said.

Angela Rios has lived in the neighborhood for almost a year and said, "Manuyunk doesn't really have that many instances of crime. I'm really really surprised and shocked. and it scares me, and I hope they catch the person."

Manayunk Development Corporations say the number of people visiting Manayunk has increased over the last eight years and it hopes to keep that momentum going strong.

"This is our season you know; we want people to feel comfortable to be here and to know even if this was one incident, we take it seriously," said McCauley.

The boutique owner says she has increased security inside and out.

Anyone with information on the suspect or his whereabouts is asked to call Philadelphia police immediately.