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When a Flash Mob Becomes a Flash Rob

Flash Mob’s are trending across the country.  They started as spontaneous gatherings of people organized by Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.  They were originally designed to engage in dance performances, pillow fights and other public displays with the intention of being funny and harmless.  However, in recent months there have been reports across the country of  a different kind of flash mobs, or rather flash robs,  being organized to commit robberies and fights.

Flash robs are organized like flash mobs, however the group selects a time and place and enter the store in droves taking what they want and leaving before security or police can catch them.  Generally they are in and out in about 60 seconds. To see a video of what flash rob looks like please click on the link.

Of 129 retailers surveyed by the National Retail Federation, nearly 95 percent said they were victimized by organized criminals in the past year and 85 percent said the problem has worsened over the past three years

What you can do about it:

1) Monitor social media sites to see if a “heist” is being planned in your area.  If so report it to the police.

2) Make sure you train  your employees on how to react in this situation so they are prepared.

3) When you see unusually large gatherings of people inside or directly outside of the stores associates should report to store management or Loss Prevention.

4) Make sure that your companies video surveillance system is properly working.  If it’s been a while since you have upgraded your video surveillance system you should upgrade it to high def or digital video.  It could provide valuable forensic evidence for the police in the event of a crime.

If a flash rob has occurred:

1) Try to take a mental note of each offender, including their physical description and clothing. Immediately following the incident, document your observation.

2) Write down a description of  any property stolen, damaged or other pertinent information about company loss.  Immediately following the incident, document your observation.

3) Video of the event can assist in the documentation process and should be readily available for your local police department.  Of course, if there are any company protocols regarding the release of the footage make sure those guidelines are followed as well.

If you would like to talk more about protecting your business from a flash rob talk to your safety coordinator or call American Fire & Securityat 877-237-8918.

Stay Safe!

The Security Girl

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