For many people, flash mobs are a delightful fad. Videos of performers breaking into dance in train stations, parks and shopping malls are popular on YouTube. But Washington state senators are worried the trend could take a more sinister form: flash robs.
Sen. Mike Carrell said he introduced a bill in response to a group of teens staging a flash rob at a Portland Nordstrom last April. The Lakewood Republican said there haven’t been any flash robs in Washington, and he hopes the legislation will prevent them from occurring.
Under Senate Bill 5178, groups of at least six people who steal at least $500 in merchandise can be charged with organized retail theft. The group must also have used electronic communication – emails, text messages or social media – to organize the theft.More