“Flash Robs” Are Becoming Dangerous New Trend

I often discuss technology on this blog and the fight to bring violent criminals to justice throughout the pages of my novels is aided by the latest surveillance equipment and communication devices.  But recently, the technology that has become so indispensable for most of us as we go through our daily routine appears to have become a tool for violence and theft.

Many of you probably have seen the video footage of a “flash rob” that took place recently at a Germantown, MD convenience store.  The large group of teens somehow made plans, possibly through social media, to gather in the middle of the night and then overwhelm the employees as they looted the store.  Police are now using the video captured from the store cameras to track down those who participated in the criminal event.

Flash mobs became a popular movement over the past year that originally seemed to have harmless consequences.  Messages would be sent out through Facebook or Twitter to meet at a designated location for a huge pillow fight or coordinated chorus of holiday cheer.  But, maybe it was only a matter of time before those with less-innocent intentions found a use for the public outreach.

The use of social media as a call to criminal activity is something that most police departments admit they are not prepared to counter.  Right now, the primary efforts seem to be focused on establishing curfews on those under eighteen and finding ways to get on the invite lists to these events in an attempt to have their defense s ready.

What do you think is driving these young people to organize such brazen attacks? 

Is it lack of parental supervision, boredom, lack of employment, something else? 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this unfortunate new trend.

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Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
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Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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2 Responses to “Flash Robs” Are Becoming Dangerous New Trend

  1. I’m not knowledgeable on the criminal mind but my guess is the kids are doing it simply because they can. By that it also means there’s an obvious severe disconnect with parental supervision.
    When I was a kid (i.e. 17 & 18) we did the egging and rolling of people’s homes because we thought it would be fun. I don’t think in that arena now but obviously times have changed.
    The way the kids are using social networking for their crimes is astounding. It’s almost like watching spec ops military at work. In the sense they gather covertly before hitting fast and hard and then are gone before anyone can react.

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  2. Yep, been there with egging, toilet papering, and cow tipping as a kid… LOL

    As with anything positive, such as technology, there’s always those who find ways to use it in a criminal act. When you’ve got groups doing these types of things (kids or adults), it somehow helps to make light of the event in their minds being in a group. Like it can’t be “that” bad because others are doing it and nobody gets hurt. Should be very interesting to see what becomes of these “flash robs” in the future and what police will be able to do about it.

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