Originally published November 13 2013
Flash mob ransacks Sports Authority store; sign of things to come
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) There is a new kind of crime spree brewing, and all indications are that the incidents are only going to increase.
In recent days, a rash of flash mob thefts have occurred in an area of Chicago. Essentially, this is what happens: A group of young people enters a business, overwhelms sales staff and walks out with thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise. And though the crimes are caught on camera, catching the thieves has so far proven futile.
As reported by CBS Chicago:
Unbelievable surveillance video captured flash mobs dashing into store after store and running out with armloads and sometimes entire racks of sporting goods.
It has happened at three different Sports Authority stores in the Chicago area.
This past Monday [Nov. 4] in Burbank at just before 1 p.m., five individuals entered a Sports Authority and soon after they were off. Video shows them running out the door with rack after rack of apparel and an employee giving chase.
On Saturday at a Sports Authority on Clark Street, a half dozen entered and stole several racks with lighting fast speed.
The store chain sounded the siren, saying, "At Sports Authority, the comfort and safety of our employees and customers always remain our top priority."
They used to just be fun
The flash mob phenomenon has changed radically from its inception a few years ago. No longer is it just a large group of people coming together at a preplanned time and location to do a performance or to draw attention to a cause in some positive way. Now, it's becoming a much more sinister term.
"They used to just be fun. They used to just be positive and now, I don't know, it seems to have turned into something negative," said one shopper.
No one was hurt in any of the incidents, but that's just a matter of time, because as these incidents demonstrate, the mobs don't stop for anyone.
"A close look at the robbery on Clark Street shows an employee who tries to intercede gets trampled," CBS Chicago reported.
There have been other incidents of flash mobs turning violent, especially mobs of teenagers.
In March, also, coincidentally, in Chicago, more than 500 teens were involved in what police termed "mob action." As reported by PolicyMic:
Among the disturbances, most of which occurred along Michigan Avenue and State Street, were several fights amongst the teens themselves, who also got busy bumping into people and even assaulting police officers. Separate incidents included a man being jumped and punched in the face, and a group of women being attacked and robbed after getting off the train.
By the end of the night, 28 teens had been arrested on charges ranging from battery and strong armed robbery to reckless conduct.
'Where are their parents?'
The violence has alarmed and disgusted many community leaders.
"I caution those parents if their child has been arrested - which numerous teenagers have been arrested tonight - that you need to think about your child," said community activist Andrew Holmes, a witness to the March action. "Just don't say the Chicago Police picked on your child, when we were watching all the assault going on, especially by teen women."
Parents, especially, are being blamed for the incidents.
In July, a Los Angeles teen was arrested and charged with inciting a violent flash mob. The 16-year-old boy was accused by police of "using social media to organize the July 16 gathering of more than 30 people, some of whom stole cell phones and other items during a rampage on the Walk of Fame," NBC Southern California reported.
There have also been violent flash mob incidents in other cities.
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