Flash mobs have been on the rise recently, often using cell phones or social media to gather many people together in a certain place. Some of these resulting mobs end up committing violent crimes on a large scale. The flash mobs in London committed arson and even murder. Flash mobs are not always violent, but they are still investigated by law enforcement if they commit crimes.
A recent flash mob in Montgomery County, Maryland, involved a group of teenagers who entered a 7-Eleven and shoplifted goods. It was apparent to police officers that the teenagers caught on surveillance cameras were having fun and smiling and laughing as they moved through the 7-Eleven in a pack and walked back out again with items they didn’t pay for. The police, however, say despite the fact that the kids did not take the thefts seriously, the police are.
The teens reportedly used text messaging through cell phones or messages on Twitter or Facebook to gather for the group shoplifting. Police say that new technologies are resulting in new kinds of opportunities for crimes, but they are also providing police officers with new tools for apprehending people who commit crimes.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Montgomery County Police Department said they have identified several of the teens in the surveillance videos, and they are working on identifying others. The police are asking people to send a text message to their department if they know any of the kids seen in the surveillance videos.
Have you been arrested for shoplifting, contact one of our Maryland criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of James E.Crawford Jr. before you talk to police or anyone else.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “A mellow (but still criminal) flash mob in Maryland,” Deborah Netburn, Aug. 16, 2011