Over the last week, a relatively new phenomenon called Flash Mobs, has swept through Chicago. Three sporting goods stores took the brunt of the damage, as large groups of thugs entered Sports Authority stores in Chicago and then proceeded to ransack the stores.
Over the last couple of years, flash mobs have become a growing problem that has spread throughout the country, causing chaos and becoming increasingly dangerous to the public.
Earlier this year, we ran an article that featured a number of these flash mobs that turned violent, including one in Detroit where a group of criminals stormed a gas station and the violently beat and robbed a clerk.
Criminal Flash Mobs
As we pointed out last year, these flash mob tactics are increasingly being used by gangs and organized crime; something that has caused some cities to actually hire private security forces after police were unable to keep them safe.
So What can be Done to Protect Yourself from Flash Mobs?
Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. As you can see from the videos above, these flash mobs can literally overrun a store in a matter of seconds. If you get the slightest feeling that something seems weird, listen to your instincts.
Keep an eye on the crowd. For the most part, you should have a pretty good idea of what the stores you visit look like. If you suddenly see an abnormal increase in the amount of people flowing into the store, this could be the first sign that something isn’t right. Immediately scan the area and try to get a feel for the type of people who are walking around. By in large, most of these Flash Mob style crimes are conducted by teenagers. If you’re in a store that seems to all of a sudden fill up with teenagers, it’s probably a good time to make your exit.
Use Technology to beat them at their own Game. Although these Flash Mobs can often seem to spring up out of nowhere, they are often heavily promoted or talked about on sites like Twitter and Facebook. If you plan on going to a store, or somewhere that may be targeted by these groups, jump on Twitter and type in the name of your destination. It only takes a couple of seconds of your time, but those couple of seconds might warn you to any impending dangers.