Cloudy with a chance of… Philly looter know as Meatball breaks down in tears in mugshot after livestreaming herself looting stores on night Footlocker, Apple and Lululemon were ransacked as cops confirm dozens of arrests
A looter who livestreamed a robbery in Philadelphia and encouraged others to join in broke down in tears during her mugshot.
Dayjia Blackwell cried after being charged with burglary, conspiracy, criminal trespass, riot, criminal mischief, criminal use of communications facilities, receiving stolen property and disorderly conduct.
Blackwell’s fear has been smeared online, in contrast to the carefree joy she expressed in videos posted to social media – as dozens of shops in the city’s business district were looted.
The 21-year-old social media personality, who goes by the name ‘Meatball’, told her 181,000 Instagram followers to join her as she excitedly ran down the street and drove to several locations hit by thieves that night .
She filmed a crowd looting Apple, Lululemon and Footlocker before heading to a liquor store where she bragged about grabbing a bottle of Hennessy.
Looter Dayjia Blackwell, who livestreamed a looting spree in Philadelphia and encouraged others to join in, appeared distraught as police took her mugshot
Dayjia Blackwell confidently livestreamed the crime wave in downtown Philadelphia last night, unaware that just four hours later she would end up in handcuffs
Blackwell was handcuffed in front of her friends, who remained in the car. She had less say when she was taken away by the police
“Tell the police that if they lock me up tonight, a movie will be made!” Everyone has to eat!’ she said to the camera.
It was a bitter pill for Blackwell to swallow when she was finally arrested by police just after midnight while sitting in her friend’s car.
Still filming herself and the evening’s events on an Instagram livestream, she tried to talk her way out of it.
“We had nothing to do with this!” she protested, clearly forgetting the hours of footage she had so enthusiastically compiled and shamelessly shared.
Blackwell joined dozens of people facing criminal charges following the social media-induced chaos, in which groups appear to be working together, smashed into stores and stuffed bags with merchandise before fleeing, authorities said.
So far, at least 52 arrests have been made, with burglary, theft and other charges filed against at least 30 people.
All but three of those arrested were adults, according to Jane Roh, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
The flash mob-style looting Tuesday night targeted dozens of stores, including Foot Locker, Lululemon and Apple.
It came after a peaceful protest against a judge’s decision to dismiss murder and other charges against a Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed a driver, Eddie Irizarry, through a rolled-up window.
Those who carried out the looting were not involved in the protest, interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said at a news conference, calling the group “a bunch of criminal opportunists.”
At least 18 state liquor stores were broken into, prompting the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to close all 48 retail locations in Philadelphia and one in the suburb of Cheltenham on Wednesday.
No employees were injured Tuesday evening, but “some were understandably shaken,” said Shawn Kelly, spokesman for the liquor association.
The stores were “closed in the interest of employee safety and while we assess the damage,” Kelly said.
“We will reopen the stores as soon as it is safe and the damage has been repaired.”
Videos on social media showed masked people in hoodies running out of Lululemon with merchandise as police officers grabbed some and charged them on the sidewalk.
Photos from a sporting goods store in a shopping center showed mannequins and sneakers scattered across the sidewalk.
The thefts and unrest stretched from downtown to northeast and west Philadelphia, leaving shattered storefronts and broken storefronts.
Police said seven cars were stolen from a northeast lot – one of the cars was recovered Wednesday afternoon.
Six businesses in one North Philadelphia retail corridor were looted, including three pharmacies, a hair salon, a tax preparation company and a cell phone store, according to the North 22nd Street Business Corridor, a business group.
Benjamin Nochum, the pharmacist and store manager at Patriot Pharmacy, said it was the third time since 2020 that his business had been affected.
“When looters steal from us, they don’t seem to understand that they are also stealing from our neighbors,” Nochum said in a statement.
“You wonder how much longer you can hold on.”
Stanford, the interim police chief, said people appeared to have organized their efforts on social media.
Police are investigating “that there may have been a caravan of a number of different vehicles moving from location to location.”
A video posted to social media showed people hanging out of cars in a shopping center parking lot and appearing to shout at each other.
“This destructive and illegal behavior cannot and will not be tolerated in our city,” said Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, calling it a “sickening display of opportunistic criminal activity.”
His administration is working with police to assess “which areas of the city may need more coverage or additional resources,” he said.
The chaos in Philadelphia was reminiscent of similar brazen thefts elsewhere, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, where organized groups of thieves, some with crowbars and hammers, have systematically targeted higher-end stores.
There were a large number of young people in Philadelphia’s business district called Center City shortly before 8 p.m., and some officers stopped a group of men “dressed in black attire and wearing masks,” according to a police news release.
At that time, reports and 911 calls came in about the Foot Locker store. When police arrived, they discovered it had been “looted in a coordinated attack,” the news release said.
At 8:12 p.m., police responded to similar calls at Lululemon, where police wrestled a pair of suspects to the ground as people streamed out of the store.
The flash mob-style looting Tuesday night targeted dozens of stores, including Foot Locker, Lululemon and Apple
This photo shows a large number of people running toward the Lululemon store during the attack
Images shared on social media show a large group storming the city’s Apple Store, looting
Some of the suspected thieves slipped past police and escaped, according to a video posted on social media.
Shortly afterwards, police were directed to the Apple Store, where the thieves had broken in and made off with phones and tablets. They then knocked them to the ground when they realized the devices had been turned off and their alarms were going off, a video on social media showed. .
According to a police press release, some of the goods have been recovered.
The latest figures, up to last Sunday, show that there have been 302 murders in the city so far this year.
There have also been 402 reported cases of rape, 58,759 cases of property crimes, 3,701 cases of aggravated assault and 1,314 shooting victims.
As crime has skyrocketed in Philadelphia, homelessness and street drug use have become increasingly common.
Homeless people and drug addicts are often driven to petty theft as a way to support themselves or scrape together enough money to support their addictions.