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A rumble ensued inside a Northeast Philadelphia Wawa after workers called police on young people stealing snacks.
The ensuing melee left the workers hurt and displays knocked over inside the store at Roosevelt Boulevard and Tyson Avenue.
Police say they expect to charge the thieves with robbery and assault.
Three Wawa employees wound up hurt after being attacked by four young people who were in the process of stealing from a Northeast Philadelphia store, Philadelphia police said.
The employees saw a group of 19 and 20 year olds stealing snacks off the shelves at the Wawa at Roosevelt Boulevard and Tyson Avenue in the Mayfair neighborhood around 2:30 a.m. Friday, investigators said.
Things turned violent as the robbers began turning over displays and rumbling with the workers, police said.
A 21-year-old worker was bitten on the arm and had his face scratched, a 20-year-old worker had her lip cut and a 25 year-old man was sprayed with a mace-like chemical, police said. All three employees received treatment.
The employees didn't initiate the incident but rather called police, Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce said.
Officers reacted quickly and nabbed the alleged attackers – two men and two women – as they hopped into a car outside the convenience store. Officers found items stolen from Wawa, like soda and chips, in the car, police said.
The four young people are expected to be charged with robbery and assault, police said.
Wawa praised the quick actions of police.
"Police responded swiftly and have all suspects in custody," Bruce said. "We continue to focus on providing assistance to the police. We are also focusing our full support to our associates, who have been treated and released."
Regular customers showed up to the store for their Friday morning coffee only to find the store closed as police investigated and workers cleaned up before daybreak. They expressed concerns for the workers who they called friendly.