Two Wawa locations are closing in the Center City portion of Philadelphia after the popular convenience store and gas station chain has experienced an increase of crime at its locations.
According to local news, a statement from Wawa released Friday read that the stores are closing due to "continued safety and security challenges and business factors."
The locations closing are located at 19th and Market St. and 12th and Market St.
The chain, which is popular across much of the North East, is opening new locations in Georgia. According to 11Aive news, Wawa announced on Wednesday that they plan to open as many as 20 stores in Georgia by 2024.
In late September, over 100 looters and marauders, many of whom appeared to be juveniles, pillaged and destroyed a Philadelphia Wawa.
Another Philadelphia Wawa, located on 36th and Chestnut Street, was robbed and the suspects assaulted and pepper sprayed a female employee on Thursday.
Customer Alfie Coker of South Philadelphia said, "I heard they pepper sprayed the employees that worked at Wawa. The city is just out of control at the moment."
A spokesperson for the company said, "All associates from these two stores will be offered continued employment at Wawa. These two closures do not necessarily impact or limit the potential for future stores in Philadelphia County."
"These closures do not diminish in any way our on-going commitment to serve the Philadelphia community or our acknowledgment of the effort and support we continue to receive from local police. It is our hope to repurpose these two locations to further benefit Philadelphia," the spokesperson added.
The Wawa spokesperson continued, "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. Philadelphia is our hometown and that's something that will never change."
In 2020, the Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner announced that police would no longer arrest criminals for non-violent offenses, such as shoplifting.
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