T-Mobile store

Protesters shattered the windows of the T-Mobile store on Aramingo Avenue in the Port Richmond neighborhood Sunday night. — Tribune Photo/Jamyra Perry

Protesters smashed windows and looted many of the 250 stores along Aramingo Avenue in the Port Richmond neighborhood late Sunday night and into the early morning hours Monday.

A few stores were unscathed.

“We’ve got a couple of businesses where nothing happened and they have their stores open for business today. Shoppers World at the end of Aramingo is open. Dollar General is open and a few others,” a security guard said.

She attributed the store’s safety to good communication and luck.

“When it all happened, they were open,” the security guard. “So they were always on top of things and letting the security agents know what was going on as well. At Shoppers World, nothing happened as well, because they had their store open.”

The looting in Port Richmond and Kensington happened as several hundred others were gathered in Center City for a peaceful protest of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of a white Minnesota police officer.

The security guard on Aramingo Avenue said she and others were focused Monday morning on getting business owners to come and board up their windows and doors.

“Looks like the Little Caesars will have to be boarded up,” the security guard said. “They’re waiting to put plywood up because looters damaged their equipment. They are waiting for somebody to come and fix it up.”

Kimberly Aburto, manager at a cell phone store along Aramingo Avenue, said her store was lucky to not have as much damage as some of the other stores along the avenue and still be able to serve customers.

“We opened today just to clean up and then we decided to stay open to take payments of people who need to pay their cellphone bills and things like that,” Arburto said.

Right now, its business as usual for the store manager as she waits to have the windows repaired and to hear from corporate if they will remain open with their regular operating hours.

“We have to wait until they come in and repair the windows,” Arburto said. “They’re gonna board it up so we’re still waiting on a response to see if we can stay open.”

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