Mass chaos broke out at a pair of Minnesota retail stores on Friday.
Breitbart reports that two of the state’s Best Buy stores were targeted on Black Friday by large groups of looters who conducted what the outlet described as “flash mob-style” robberies.
No weapons were used in the incidents, which occurred at Best Buys in Burnsville and Maplewood, Minnesota.
In Burnsville, reports indicate that a group of roughly 20 to 30 individuals suddenly descended on the Best Buy store shortly after 8 p.m. local time. It was a similar story in Maplewood, though the group was said to only have consisted of 10 to 12 individuals, according to KSTP.
Some of those in Maplewood were said to have been juveniles.
To this point, authorities have not indicated what was stolen from the Burnsville store. In Maplewood, looters reportedly targeted “high-value items,” including hoverboards, televisions, and tablets.
An investigation of the two incidents is underway. As part of their probe, police are reportedly trying to determine whether the two incidents are related. “We can’t tolerate that kind of behavior. Just as a society, we just can’t,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said during a virtual press conference, according to Breitbart.
As of Saturday, police had yet to announce any arrests in the case, nor had they named any suspects.
“Spikes in crime”
In a statement, Best Buy suggested the incidents are just the latest in a spree of crimes targeting retailers across the country.
“Retailers across the country are seeing spikes in crime,” the company wrote, according to Breitbart. “These incidents have been, by and large, non-violent though often traumatic for those who witnessed them. As an industry, we are working with local law enforcement and taking additional security precautions where it makes sense.”
The retailer also said it’s committed to lobbying for legislation that “would make the online re-selling of these stolen goods much more difficult, materially reducing the incentive to commit the crimes in the first place.”
The specifics of the legislation remain unclear. In the meantime, experts are urging online shoppers to be cautious this holiday season, including by doing their due diligence when purchasing items like televisions, particularly when they’re being offered at a significant discount.