A regional convenience store operator is closing two sites in the heart of Philadelphia's business district amid an uptick in retail crime. The stores are located on 12th and 19th and Market Streets in the Center City area.

According to police, a group of five entered the Wawa store around 1 a.m. and ended up stealing $100 worth of merchandise.

"I heard they pepper sprayed the employees that worked at Wawa," customer Alfie Coker of South Philadelphia told WPVI. "The city is just out of control at the moment."

The announcement comes amid surging crime in several major U.S. cities. Last month McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski argued crime in Chicago has made it difficult for companies to operate or find employees in the Windy City.

Rite Aid’s chief retail officer Andre Persaud said it is just about impossible to stop stealing in New York City shops. The drug store chain is considering a plan to place all store items in showcases due to theft in New York City.

Virginia Carrington, a regular Wawa customer from West Philadelphia, told WPVI that retail crime like this in the city just keeps "getting worse" over time.

Wawa spokesperson Lori Bruce told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the two Philadelphia stores are set to close "over the next few weeks."

The company said that the two Market Street closures "do not necessarily impact or limit the potential for future stores" in the county, adding that they will continue to monitor safety and security challenges.