Tag Archives: Minnesota

New Trend: Flash Mob Robbery

Flash mob” is a term coined in 2003 to denote a group of people, organized via social networking, who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment and/or satire.
An utterly charming flash mob was this one in Belgium’s Antwerp train station – a sheer delight:
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQLCZOG202k]
The flash mob phenomenon has now degenerated into flash mob robbery of convenience and gas station stores across America. Here’s surveillance camera footage of one such robbery in 2009 in Stockton, California:
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1KqSiRKS7Q]
As reported by the Daily Mail, in St. Paul last Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, up to 50 young people swarmed a Holiday store stealing juice, candy, soda, and every other type of junk food they could grab. The incident was caught on security cameras, which showed the robbers – most of them apparently teenagers – racing through the store and grabbing armfuls of whatever was in reach. The outnumbered clerks could only stand by helplessly and watch as the mob fled, scattering in all directions.

It’s not the first time that mob tactics have been used in a robbery in the area. Four months earlier, a BP petrol station was attacked in much the same way. Then, some 20 young people stormed the store, grabbing goods as they went. One assaulted the clerk on the way out, punching him several times in the face. That time, police used surveillance video to charge several teenagers with offences ranging from first-degree aggravated robbery to rioting and theft.
St Paul police spokesman Andy Skoogman said the so-called ‘mob robberies’ were still ‘far from a trend’. But he did admit they were ‘concerning’. ‘From our two cases, it’s a quick hit,’ he said. ‘They run in quickly, grab things, and run out.’ He urged store clerks and witnesses not to intervene if their shop should be attacked in the same way. ‘We want store employees to be witnesses to shoplifting, not victims of assault,’ he said.
To see the CCTV video of the St. Paul mob robbering, go to the Daily Mail article HERE.
~Eowyn

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