Sunday, June 19, 2011

Teenage Flash Mob Robberies on the Rise

The same technologies that for years have brought together the mostly benign and goofy "flash mobs," in which groups suddenly break into dance at a mall or stumble around like zombies at train stations, is being used to plan and execute bold robberies.

Called “flash robs,” these crimes are being organized by young teenagers through various social media outlets, most notably Twitter. Police say the suspects select a time and place and enter the store in droves taking what they want and leaving before security or police can catch them.

Some of the most brazen robberies take place in the light of day and on busy streets despite all the security cameras and the watchful eyes of workers.

“Young people are risk takers; they do things in groups far more than adults do. A medium like Twitter plays into the characteristics of young person’s behavior,” Scott Decker, a professor of criminology at Arizona State University, told FoxNews.com.

Because of these flash plots, police have begun to more closely monitor social media sites, reports the Chicago Sun Times.

The pack mentality emboldens the thieves to strike fast, so fast that the store clerks don’t have time to react.

“Over 90 percent of crimes committed by young people are done so in a group,” Decker told FoxNews.com. (read more)

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/18/top-five-most-brazen-flash-mob-robberies/#ixzz1Pjkjbozw