At least three Sports Authority stores in the Chicago area were looted this past week by unruly and unpredictable teen “flash mobs.”
The first two stores were hit Saturday by at least a half-dozen teens who ran in and robbed the stores with shocking speed and efficiency that was all captured on camera.
The next store was hit Monday around 1:00 p.m. by at least five suspects who were able to make off with the stolen goods, despite one employee’s efforts to chase them down.
“At Sports Authority, the comfort and safety of our employees and customers always remain our top priority,” the store said in a statement following the robberies.
The groups of marauding teens are like a “next generation” of flash mobs, Chicago's WBBM-TV reported.
Flash mobs are typically about performance art or drawing attention to important causes, but in at least a few areas of the United States, they have evolved into something darker.
“They used to just be fun. They used to just be positive and now, I don’t know, it seems to have turned into something negative,” one shopper told WBBM.
Aside from one employee who was bowled over at a Clark Street store, police said no one was seriously hurt in the three Sports Authority incidents.
No arrests have been made. The store is currently offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to arrests.
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