PHILADELPHIA, P.A. — A pharmacy in a crime-ridden Philadelphia area was looted upon the death of George Floyd last summer, then once more in October after the death of Walter Wallace.
BLM rioters broke into Nice Pharmacy in West Kensington on May 31. Randal Policare, a pharmacist who is the vice president of a company that oversees the West Kensington store and several others, is no rookie to the menacing culture in Philadelphia. He has been robbed five times in the last 37 years.
“I was on the rooftop with my kids. We were listening to the reports and watching helicopters,” Policare said, discussing the night his store was looted. “We were watching the fires. I was getting calls from customers that have my number. [BLM rioters] were definitely coming in here to get hard drugs. We came in the very next morning and cleaned up. The glass was busted in the front. They destroyed the security gates. Everything was on the floor. The ATM machine was smashed open. The cash register was on the floor. They took computers and destroyed wiring.”
The front of the business was spray-painted “George Floyd.” Policare is still seeking insurance damages for the location, as well as others. The thieves got away with $16,000 worth of narcotics and $7,000 worth of drugs that customers were going to pick up, in addition to everything else.
Policare told me that the company store on 16th Street received funding because it burned down, and says there is a multi-million-dollar insurance claim due to the extensive rioting damage. He cleaned up the day after the riot damage and opened two or three days later. He can’t remember the exact date but says he watched the unrest on the surveillance cameras in the pharmacy.
Riots were a tremendous blow to business after months of coronavirus lockdowns, he said. Customers stopped frequenting the location due to fear of unrest. Counter sales plummeted. He hired a detective to assist in making the insurance claim.
“It was very hard just to get a police report for the insurance company. But I finally had a detective come out,” he said. “As far as getting people arrested, I don’t think they caught anybody. As a matter of fact, a lot of the neighbors stated that the people that did it weren’t even from the neighborhood. They were outsiders.”
The Philadelphia Police Department did not immediately return The Federalist’s request for comment regarding if the looters faced prosecution.
Unrest in the city occurred again in October when the footage went viral of Wallace being shot and killed by police while moving toward officers with a knife. Townhall writer Julio Rosas, who was in attendance for the rioting that followed, noted at the time, “I haven’t seen riots and looting on this scale and this bad since Minneapolis back in May. It’s chaos out here.”
“The second one was well-coordinated,” Policare said about the next wave of looting that took place. “They had mining helmets on, cut the locks, went through the shelves, and knew exactly what they were trying to get. They went for high-priced items.”
The criminals did not discriminate based on product, though. They took garbage bags, Insulin, and even the bags for customers. They arrived in a van and eight individuals unloaded, terrorizing the block.
Policare says looters brought power tools and destroyed a screen in front of a metal bar. Their faces were covered in hoods and they all held knapsacks. While the summer looting was more random and a free-for-all, the businessman says there was a methodical nature to the post-Wallace violence.
Policare is not afraid to call out the looters. He has dealt with violence in Philadelphia since 1984 and does not understand why Democrats seek to defund the police. In his eyes, though, the GOP is doomed in the far-left stronghold. Speaking frankly, he said he sees no way for conservatives to take back the city. He highlighted the fact that there has not been a Republican major since 1952.
“They’re living in a dream world,” Policare said. “It’s just a shame what’s going on. If the henhouse goes unguarded, or whatever the old saying goes, everything goes wild. You need police. And what’s going on — the crime rate in these neighborhoods is no joke. You should see the trash, the trash alone. Like, it just piles up and up, because [police] is not writing tickets. They’re not enforcing laws at all, they just don’t have the manpower.”
Philadelphia has embraced the movement to defund police. While the city initially put forth a $19 million increase for the department, the effort was thrown out during the riots in 2020. The city instead settled on a $727 annual budget for fiscal year 2020-21, a 4.3 percent overall reduction for the police department.
More than a third of the city’s pharmacies were looted in the summer of rage. Minority-owned businesses were hit hard, particularly in the more dangerous parts of West Philadelphia. Two immigrant owners whose stores were looted described their profound difficulties to The Federalist on Tuesday.
“We’re still feeling the effects of this,” Policare said. “Nothing has changed. It’s hanging over our heads and could happen again any day now. Nothing is going to change.”
Yet, the pharmacist will remain strong in the face of evil. “I’m not going to let them win,” he added.