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  • Writer's pictureTroy Riggs

Flash Mobs


Smash and Grab/flash mob:


What Is a Smash-and-Grab?


The term “smash-and-grab” paints an accurate picture. It’s a type of burglary where speed is of the essence. Typically, thieves target easily accessible storefronts, using brute force (like hammers or even vehicles) to shatter windows or doors. Once inside, they target high-value, easy-to-grab items like jewelry, designer goods, or electronics before making a fast getaway. It’s a crime of opportunity, often executed in minutes.


But the problem doesn’t end there.  The nation is also witnessing the rise of flash mob robberies and ram-raiding, two specific forms of organized theft that are equally alarming. Flash mobs involve large groups of individuals descending upon a store simultaneously, overwhelming staff and security measures. Ram-raiding entails criminals using vehicles to crash into storefronts for quick access to merchandise.

These criminal tactics are not just isolated incidents. They’re part of a larger trend causing significant damage to businesses and communities nationwide.


These types of crimes have traditionally focused on retail. Authorities say these so-called "flash mob" thefts are sometimes organized on social media and often target high-end goods that can be easily resold.  The thieves occasionally use violence to carry out their crimes and aren't hampered by traditional techniques to prevent thefts, such as alarms or security personnel.


***Organized retail thefts by criminal syndicates are rapidly expanding, which appears will be a formidable issue for the next few years.

 

Questions for businesses:

Is there an emergency plan for this type of event?

 

If so, when was the last time it was reviewed with team members?

 

Are their business locations in areas where this type of crime has been of regular occurrence?  Can you access and review police reports for the area?

 

Are leadership and critical incident training needed for your team members?


Preparation Options: 

Review of emergency planning with Team Members

 

Establish a protocol that is easy to understand and follow.  The protocol’s priority is team members’ protection, including pre-event planning, actions taken during an incident, and post-actions from management.

 

Have a communications plan pre-established for quick response to local and/or national media.

 

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