Thanks in large part to lax prosecutions, crime in and around Los Angeles, California has soared and made life miserable for the average law-abiding residents, and in particular small business owners.
That was evidenced in the early hours of Monday, August 15, when a “flash mob” almost completely looted a 7-Eleven convenience store in a matter of moments, the local NBC affiliate reported.
The shocking group crime spree, which was caught entirely on the store’s surveillance cameras, emerged as part of a so-called “street takeover” by hundreds of people of a nearby intersection for a relatively brief period of time.
A “street takeover” followed by “flash mob” looting
The Los Angeles Police Department issued a news release on Thursday about the “street takeover” late Sunday/early Monday of the intersection of Figueroa Street and El Segundo Boulevard, in which vehicles blocked off the intersecting roads and created a “pit” in which other cars did donuts and a mob of hundreds of people gathered.
At one point during the festivities, a “flash mob” suddenly rushed a 7-Eleven convenience store on the northwest corner of the intersection and began to loot the store of candy and chips, drinks, lottery tickets, tobacco products, and other merchandise.
The store was also vandalized and an employee was threatened and harassed by the mob, so much so that according to the NBC affiliate, that employee feared for his life and was forced to seek safety inside a back room.
‘Flash Mob’ Looters Ransack Convenient Store after Street Takeover
On August 15 around 12:40am a street takeover initiated at Figueroa and El Segundo. The spectators then formed a ‘flash mob’ of looters and rushed a nearby 7-Eleven.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) August 18, 2022
Then, less than two minutes after the looting began, the mob quickly dispersed, the intersection was relinquished, and the crowd was almost entirely gone by the time police arrived on the scene.
According to the NBC affiliate, the LAPD said, “The suspects are facing multiple charges to include grand theft, looting, and vandalism,” and asked for the public’s assistance in identifying any of the looters who can be seen in the released video.
New trend growing nationwide
The outlet further noted that after the crowd had dispersed from the Figueroa/El Segundo intersection, it reportedly moved onto the nearby 110 freeway and again blocked traffic to stage another “street takeover” event.
LAPD Detective Ryan Moreno said, “We really want to prevent this from becoming a new trend where they think they show up and take over a street or a freeway or any part of the city, that they’re just going to be able to do whatever they want.”
Unfortunately, such incidents have already become a trend, not just in L.A., but in cities all across America, and the only real way to deter and prevent them is through aggressive and serious prosecutions of lawbreakers to send a clear message that such “street takeovers” and “flash mob” lootings will not be tolerated and will come at great cost.