Flash mob robbery
A flash mob robbery, also known as a flash rob, or mob rob, is an organized form of theft in which a group of participants enter a retail shop or convenience store en masse and steal goods and other items, and then vanish before police and law enforcement can arrive. Typically, store workers and employees in these cases quickly become overwhelmed by the large amount of participants and thus, are unable to stop the theft.
The term often used by the media for this type of event is "Flash mob robberies", which originates from flash mobs, where a group of people assemble quickly, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act, and then disperse. Law enforcement generally prefers to avoid this term as too misleading, instead preferring more technical names such as "mass theft" or "mass robbery."
Flash mob robberies dynamics
Flash mob robberies operate using speed and sheer numbers in order to intimidate any resistance and complete the act before police can respond. While often viewed as a form of theft or looting (the illegal taking of items), these crimes more closely fit the definition of robbery because the large crowd creates an implied threat of violence should employees or bystanders attempt to intervene. Many investigations into these robberies have shown that they are planned ahead of time using social media, and the participants do not all necessarily know each other personally.
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Flash mob robberies have occurred in large cities such as Chicago, Illinois Portland, Oregon, and Houston, Texas. and Jacksonville, Florida, and even smaller cities, such as Germantown, Maryland.
- Murphy, Pat (August 16, 2011). "7-11 flash mob: Maryland police investigate store robbery (Video)". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 17, 2012.
- Justin Jouvenal and Dan Morse (August 15, 2011). "Police probe Germantown flash-mob thefts". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- Dade, Corey (May 26, 2011). "Flash Mobs Aren't Just For Fun Anymore". NPR. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Vaughan, Annie (June 18, 2011). "Teenage Flash Mob Robberies on the Rise". Fox News (FOX News Network, LLC). Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "Police Investigate Silver Spring 7-Eleven Mass Theft". Media Services Division, Montgomery County, Maryland. November 21, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Jargon, Julie and Brat, Ilan (June 9, 2011).Chicago Police Brace for 'Flash Mob' Attacks." The Wall Street Journal.
- Hanrahan , Mark & Iboshi, Kyle (April 10, 2012). "'Flash rob' like theft in Portland on rise in U.S.". KGW News (Portland, Oregon). Retrieved May 24, 2012.
- Azad, Sonia (December 9, 2011). "Flash mob robbery caught on camera at Galleria area store". KTRK TV (Houston, Texas). Retrieved May 17, 2012.
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