Flash Mob Raids 7-11 Store in Silver Spring, Maryland

Nov 22, 2011 1:59pm

A group of 50 teenagers raided a Maryland 7-Eleven Saturday night, looting the convenience store in what police are investigating as a flash mob robbery.

Montgomery County police say the teens, ranging in age from 16-18, rushed into the 7-Eleven in Silver Spring, Md., around 11:20 p.m. Saturday night.

Video surveillance from the store shows the teens fanning out across the store and grabbing snacks and drinks.  The teens then exited the store to the surrounding parking lots and streets, and then quickly dispersed once police arrived.

Police were able to stop six of the teens, each of whom were carrying merchandise from the 7-Eleven but without receipts, reports local ABC affiliate ABC-7.

Police say the suspects may have been attending a birthday party in the area.

They released surveillance video of the group theft in hopes of identifying more of the individuals involved.

The term flash mob was first used to describe spontaneous gatherings of people in a public space, alerted by text, email or Twitter.  In the latest cases, however, flash mobs have turned from fun events to criminal occurrences.

The Saturday night raid in Silver Spring is the latest of such thefts to hit the Washington, D.C. area in recent months.

In August, a flash mob invaded another 7-Eleven  in Germantown, Md., grabbing all the snacks and candy they could access.  The entire robbery, described by an police as “anarchy” lasted less than one minute.

Earlier in the summer, a flash mob robbed a high-end clothing store in Washington, D.C.

The dual incidents in Maryland have prompted Montgomery County officials there to consider legislation regulating teen loitering and implementing a teen curfew.

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