The Evil Side of Social Media: Flash Mob Thefts
Sure, it's cute when you use social media and text messaging to reach out to all of your friends and your friends' friends and you all suddenly appear in one spot for a "flash mob" pillow fight, or "silent disco" or to perform the Michael Jackson "Thriller" dance." Marginally cute, at least.
But what about when flash mobs turn evil? Imagine you are alone working the night shift at 7-Eleven when a well-coordinated flash mob of several dozen kids storms the entrance, tears through the aisles of your store and steals whatever it pleases from the shelves. That is what is going on increasingly in places like Philadelphia and, this past weekend, in Germantown, Md. (a Washington, D.C., suburb).
FOX 5 News reports that on Saturday at about 1:45 a.m., a crowd of about 30 young people stormed into a Germantown 7-Eleven, and "grabbed snacks and drinks and anything else they wanted and rushed out without paying." Like the tide rushing in and out, the whole crowd was gone in less than a minute.
Montgomery County police told FOX that the hit on the 7-Elevent was a planned event -- a "flash mob theft." Other flash mob thefts have occurred recently in the region, as well. Police are examining the 7-Eleven video surveillance tapes to identify suspects in the Germantown flash mob.
In Philadelphia, the flash mob theft problem has grown to the point that last week Mayor Michael Nutter announced a 9 p.m. curfew "for city children in certain neighborhoods in an effort to stop increasing occurrences of flash mob violence." The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the curfew applies to children under 18 years of age and only on Friday and Saturday nights, and will be lifted at the end of the summer when children return to school. Philadelphia flash mobs have engaged in shoplifting as in Germantown, but also in some random assaults on innocent victims.
Check out video of the Germantown flash mob below.
Posted by Bruce Carton on August 16, 2011 at 05:16 PM | Permalink
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