Thieves Use Social Networking for ‘Flash Mob’ Robberies

Facebook & Twitter Social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter have quickly become a big parts of our everyday lives and the way we interact with the world. It is also not unusual to hear about these platforms being used to spread computer malware, spam, or get people into legal trouble. However, it seems like a new crime trend is emerging that focuses solely on the use of social networks to steal physical goods from retail locations, as opposed to the digital theft of sensitive information.

This new trend of social crime involves the use of flash mobs, which are usually social network-organized meet ups that take place in public locations and organize and disperse in a short amount of time.

The latest of these flash mob robberies (flash mobberies?) took place in a Georgetown, Washington Victoria’s Secret store. Within seconds, a large group of people (teens mostly) entered the store, distracted the staff, and walked out with handfuls of merchandise, leaving the staff helpless against the robbery.

“They come in and they do it so fast – within a matter of seconds… What happened in this store probably lasted around 20 seconds… They go in, they distract the employees and they grab the merchandise, they are in and out,” said Lt. John Hedgecock, from Washington D.C. Police.

The brash flash mob robbers (blash mobbers? I’m so sorry.), unlike normal criminals, seemed undeterred by the presence of security cameras:

“The people who do it don’t care and sometimes pose… They will stand there and look at the camera in a funny way,” said Alex Brown, an employee at Georgetown Park store Riccardi.

Investigators believe that the teenagers engaged in these robberies willingly show their identities because they assume that it will be much harder for them to be identified with so many people in the store. However, in reality, police now have video footage of them in action, and their attack plan has been posted on Facebook and Twitter for the world to see; making them much easier to catch than ordinary thieves.

(Via Gawker) / (Image by John Hall & Associates licensed under Creative Commons)

About the author  ⁄ BrickHouse Security

BrickHouse Security is the industry's premier supplier of security and surveillance solutions. As a recognized authority in GPS tracking, hidden cameras, cell phone/PC monitoring, video surveillance and counter surveillance, we help our customers use technology to get the clarity they need. We proudly serve consumers, businesses of all sizes and the law enforcement community. When you need to know, BrickHouse has the answers.

  • jahndabaptist

    How do you know these robberies were created from social networks? and these robberies do not seem to be smart as they are caught on video cameras

  • http://infoagesecure.blogspot.com/ Jahndabaptist

    The flash mobberies are caught on camera, thats not a very good way to rob anyone or anything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407145104 Bile

    LOL i like you!!There is no fear for yourself in Lebanon, as to **** or rreobby etc The only things, is that it seems the bombs come from no where, and really it’s a shock of what’s happeningi suggest you go to Lebanon, but have a schedule of all the parlement people to where they are going and avoid these streets. LOLi also suggest wait after the elections and we will see.Peace to Lebanon, Hopefully