In one incident at the 7-Eleven store at 22nd & Market streets, video shows a group of about eight to 10 kids come in and spread out throughout the store. Each starts collecting items from different shelves and refrigerators before suddenly running for the door. The owner says this has happened two to three times since the pandemic.
RELATED: Bay Area thieves prey on those sheltering-at-home by stealing tires amid COVID-19 pandemic
"Actually, I've been facing a lot of shoplifting. Every day I try to call and sometimes when I call 911 nobody answers," said Mohammed Karim, a store owner.
At another store, another mob enters a store, including a young boy. Within minutes, the same thing happens with people running for the door with various items, the clerk running after them to no avail.
In other instances, merchants say people are filling their back packs with merchandise seemingly with no fear the law will catch up with them.
"People are coming in the store, they're loading their bag and they're actually telling us the law, that they're not gonna get locked up," said merchant Sukhvir Thinb.
Merchants say store clerks are terrified with what is going on.
"I have three people quit last week, they don't want to work anymore because of safety issues," said Manzoor Chughta, president of the Delaware Valley Franchise Owners Association.
"It's a lawless city, it's the Wild West. That's what's happening here," said Vincent Emmanuel, treasurer of the Delaware Valley Franchise Owners Association.
"Enough is enough, and we don't know what to do. We seek the help of the mayor, the attorney general, the police department, the chief of police. Please, we need help," said Bilal Barqawi, vice president of the Delaware Valley Franchise Owners Association.
"A mob entering a business sounds like more than just shoplifting, it sounds terroristic. If police are making arrests in cases like that, our office would charge appropriately," said Jane Roh, spokeswoman with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.
Due to the pandemic, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw ordered arrests be delayed for non-violent crimes such as theft, drugs or prostitution.
"I think broadcasting no arrests for retail theft was the biggest mistake the city ever made," said store owner Sukhvir Thinb.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here. Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- Coronavirus data: See how the curve of COVID-19 cases is bending in each Bay Area county
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- Stimulus calculator: How much money should you expect from coronavirus relief bill
- WATCH: ABC7's interactive town hall 'Race and Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation'
- What Bay Area tenants need to know about rent payments, eviction amid COVID-19 outbreak
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- Coronavirus and the new normal of living in the San Francisco-Bay Area -- COVID-19 Diaries
- Happy hour goes virtual as people try to be sociable while social distancing during COVID-19 crisis
- Coronavirus Outbreak: Here's why you should practice 'social distancing'
- DRONEVIEW7: What the Bay Area looks like during the coronavirus shelter-in-place
- ABC7's drive around San Francisco shows empty streets, businesses shuttered
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions
- Asian community fighting racism, xenophobia, bigotry as world fights COVID-19