Protect Your Retail Business From Flash Robs
Posted by Pamela S. on Friday, September 14th, 2012
Most of us are familiar with flash mobs, those groups of people who seemingly appear out of nowhere and put on a performance. They are fun to watch and bring a
smile to everyone’s day. There are flash mobs who gather for more nefarious reasons: the flash rob.
According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation in August 2011, 79 percent of retailers have been victims of a multiple offender crime. Ten percent were victims of flash mobs.
Sometimes referred to as “flash robs”, a group rushes into a store, runs amok and distracts the sales staff and security. They grab as much product as they can and the pack runs out of the store.
Flash robs have occurred in large department stores and in Mom and Pop convenience stores. A flash mob can be difficult to control and the event is usually over before anything can be done. There is usually no violence involved. Flash mobbers don’t need weapons, they use surprise and power through numbers. That is not to say that a situation can’t turn violent. People have been hurt by the mob in the ensuing chaos.
As with regular flash mobs of the more entertaining variety, groups are organized through text messages and social networking.
Flash robbers usually target high end goods, such as fashion and accessories, or electronics, but this isn’t always the case. The Sugar Shop candy store in Brooklyn recently had to hire two security officers to guard the candy after a flash mob of 40 teens entered the store on August 25th and stole piles of candy. This was not the first robbery by young crooks with a sweet tooth.
Read the National Retail Federation’s white paper on Multiple Offender Crimes. The paper also provides tips on how to protect your retail business and prevent or manage a flash rob. They suggest monitoring social networks and other websites for information about planned events.
The NRF stresses that the
safety of customers and employees should always come first. Don’t try to intervene in a flash rob, allow security and law enforcement to do their job.
Instruct employees and customers to move away from the mob.
Unfortunately, a flash rob is usually over before police can get to the scene. That is why it is very important to have the best security system that you can afford, including clear and consistent video evidence provided by CCTV. A private investigator and security specialist can conduct a security audit of your retail location and make appropriate recommendations.
Even a friendly flash mob can cause disruption in your place of business, but they usually bring joy to the crowd and free publicity.
The above is a perfect example of a good flash mob; something special that will only happen once, and you wish you were lucky enough to be be there. Enjoy the bright side of humanity on this Friday.
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Sheer has recruited the best from the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service to build a formidable team at Sheer Investigations. Our private investigators have the sensitivity and experience to handle the most delicate investigations.