Stock photo of a Nordstrom store, via Unsplash

Flash mobs have taken on a whole new meaning in California

January 04th, 2022

You might be familiar flash mobs – when a group of people assemble in a public area to perform any kind of action for entertainment, satire, artistic expression, and even to raise awareness. Performers usually plan these using social media or any quick form of communication. We remember one such example of a flash mob back in November 2021 at a popular mall here in the Philippines.

It was a cute little performance wherein performers wore pink Squid Game themed costumes and held up signs telling people to wear their masks and practice social distancing. They also goofily danced in unison, similar to how flash mobs commonly perform choreographed dances.

Now that we’ve established what flash mobs are usually like, we move to the Bay Area in San Francisco, California, where there is an unfortunate abundance of smash and grab robberies similar to flash mobs, as reported by ABC7:

People usually organize regular flash mobs in groups on social media. In a similar way, some robbers in California organize flash mobs of their own. They plan their robbery on social media, target one specific store, and eventually congregate and loot it at the same time. Imagine – 80 to 100 armed people wearing ski masks running in a store and quickly looting a bunch of items. What would you do in a situation where the robbers overwhelm even the number of staff in the store? It’s an incredibly smart (but terrifying for victims) way to steal and social media is a tool that is used to their advantage.

In most cases, these people have no connections with each other. Since they plan the flash mob robbery on social media, the robbers usually don’t know each other personally. As a result, it is much harder to find links between suspects.


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