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‘Meatball’ tears up after livestreaming Philly looting spree

By Jake Beardslee · September 28, 2023

In brief…

  • A 21-year-old woman known as "Meatball" livestreamed herself looting Philadelphia stores.
  • The offender, whose legal name is Dayjia Blackwell, cried during her mugshot session after being arrested for burglary and theft.
  • At least 52 others were arrested following the mob-style looting spree.
  • The looters hit multile retailers across the City of Brotherly Love.
A tearful woman known as "Meatball" (above) livestreamed herself participating in mob-style lootings of Philadelphia stores before being arrested.  Philadelphia police department

A 21-year-old Philadelphia woman, who goes by the social media handle “Meatball,” livestreamed herself enthusiastically participating in mob-style lootings of retail stores Tuesday night.

Dayjia Blackwell, Meatball’s legal name, cried during her mugshot session after being arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including burglary and theft.

Blackwell had joyfully livestreamed videos of herself and dozens of co-conspirators ransacking downtown stores such as Apple, Lululemon, and Foot Locker.

“Tell the police if they lock me up tonight it’s going to be lit. It’s going to be a movie! Everybody’s gotta eat!” she said about about stealing a bottle of liquor.

Police arrested Blackwell just after midnight while she was still livestreaming from a friend’s car.

“We didn’t have anything to do with this!” she protested, despite hours of incriminating footage she had posted.

At least 52 people have been arrested so far, most facing charges of burglary and theft.

Officials called the ransacking opportunistic criminal behavior.

Videos showed masked people rushing out of stores with merchandise. The thefts stretched across Philadelphia neighborhoods, leaving a wake of smashed windows and storefronts.

Looters hit multiple pharmacies, a hair salon, a tax-prep business, and a cell-phone store along one retail corridor, according to a local business group.

Philadelphia’s interim police commissioner said it appeared people used social media to coordinate the targeting of locations, as they travelled together in caravans between sites.

The mayor called the looting “sickening” and said it “cannot and will not be tolerated.”