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Published on Aug 16, 2011
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While stories of criminal flash mobs continue to crop up in the U.S. and abroad, the latest such story, which took place in the wee hours of the morning Saturday at a Washington, D.C. area 7-Eleven is a clear reminder of how quickly these events occur and how helpless store employees are when faced with multiple offender crimes. The video below shows surveillance tape of the incident as 25-35 young people rush the store, grabbing candy, sodas and other items from shelves and then walk out without paying --many smiling and laughing.
Montgomery County police said this group "clearly had a plan" and that it seemed it was an "orchestrated event."
In this case, the store clerk did not attempt to apprehend the suspects, as he was clearly outnumbered -- a suggestion that is outlined in NRF's recently issued Multiple Offender Crimes white paper. Retailers may want to revisit these "flash mob" guidelines as this trend grows in popularity.
While the thought of a flash mob entering your store may be cause for alarm (and all the more reason to be prepared), the good news is that police and city officials are taking action in cities where these acts of theft and sometimes violence are occurring. Flash mob attacks in Philadelphia last week led to a city-wide curfew for minors after two people were attacked. The city also increased patrols in Center City where two men were robbed and beaten.
In response to complaints about the curfew, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said, "We're as serious as a heart attack about this. We're not playing around."
courtesy of: By Joe LaRocca, Senior Asset Protection Advisor | Published: August 15, 2011 blog.nrf.com/2011/08/15/chilling-surveillance-shows-flash-mob-of-young-people-looting-store/