Flash mobs forming shoplifting events nationwide

Roz Zurko's picture

A flash mob shoplifting event in Washington DC is just one of the latest mobs that have formed around the country to steal merchandise.

Flash mobs are forming in stores for the reason of stealing merchandise, according to Steve Docey on Fox News live this morning. The latest flash mob that occurred for the intent of shoplifting occurred in Washington DC. A mob showed up at a clothing store and proceeded to steal about $20,000 worth of apparel in just minutes.

Flash mobs are becoming more prevalent in pop culture today, but they usually form to sing, dance or as some type of peaceful protest. The newest use of a flash mob for the purpose of shoplifting merchandise is causing problems for retail businesses and not just in Washington DC.

Chicago is also experiencing the same type of flash mob shoplifting episodes, according to the Chicago Sun Times. Shops in malls around the area of Loyola campus, have been experiencing flash mobs for the purpose of a mass shoplifting event. The offenders storm various stores, usually clothing shops, and within minutes walk out with all that they can carry.

Flash mobs storming stores for the purpose of stealing have been reported in several states, such as Michigan, where flash mobs have been hitting convenient stores, according to Investment Watchdogs.

The flash mob happens so quickly that the police cannot get there in time to stop the theft, as soon as the participants grab the merchandise, they scatter. According to the Sun Times, the incidents usually occur on weekends and between the hours of 5 pm and 11pm.

In a crowded shopping mall, there is no way of telling who is part of the flash mob until the participants storm the store at the prearranged time for the flash mob. Until they overwhelm the store in a mob, the participants look like ordinary shoppers in the mall. As quick as it forms, it dissipates, so by the time the time the police arrive the shoplifters are well on their way home.

Flash mobs usually occur with the intent to surprise and entertain, such as the one at the Westfield Connecticut Post Mall in November of 2010. The mob formed and preformed to Christmas songs, surprising the shoppers, according to the New Haven Register.

This type of flash mob, singing and dancing, is prevalent in malls and public common areas. The newest use of a flash mob for the purpose of stealing, has caused some perplexing problems for both businesses and police.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, it is hard to make an arrest in these flash mob shoplifting events due to the speed at which they occur.

Reference: Fox News Live, Chicago Sun Times, Investment Watch Dogs, New Haven Register

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