More Must be Done to Deter Flash Theft Mobs

Flash theft mobs won’t stop unless there is a fear of reprisal and serious consequences. There are many victims and it costs consumers. Organized retail theft is taking a toll.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) said a 2018 survey showed retailers lost $777,877 per $1 billion in sales. That survey also showed 9 in 10 retailers had encountered organized retail theft crime in the prior 12 months.

On July 1 the North Face store in Pleasant Prairie’s Premium Outlets mall was a victim, as six men rushed in, grabbed whatever merchandise they could carry and ran out in 30 seconds. The take was valued at more than $33,000. Three of the six identified suspects are in custody — two in Kenosha County and one in Indiana. The others are being sought with $50,000 warrants for their arrest.

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News and social media widely circulated the security video of the theft. Pleasant Prairie Police Chief David Smetana said many were shocked at the video. “The act itself was surprising,” he said. “People understand that shoplifting happens, but to see it this level, it shocked people.”

Loss Prevention Magazine, in a February article, reported that what began as social media calls to gather at a place for a spontaneous dance or other harmless entertainment activity has evolved into a criminal enterprise and gang involvement. Smetana said his department received… Daily Citizen

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